I digged out a panorama from Zurich in 2001 (earlier blog post). I remember well using Panorama Factory to stitch the 11 images (1600x1200 px, 1.9MP) and it took me more than 1 hour manually adjust the control points to get a OK result (plus a 30min stitching time). Today I took the same images and processed it in Autopano Pro in 25 seconds (incl. of opening the application, images, stitching and saving the panorama).
Conclusion: We have great tools and crunching powerful CPU's that save valuable time. Lets go out and focus on shooting nice panoramas and dont race for the biggest Gigapixel image only !