Common sense suddenly struck as I looked up phpdoc.wordpress.org, stitched together a Template file and used a few get_posts and setup_postdata calls to do exactly what I was looking for. Damn those cheeky plugins that redo the same thing over and again but not quite much!
Specifically, I wanted to list out all my posts in (by) a particular category on a page – although I also wanted an excerpt to be printed out for each post. None of the available plugins are able to do this cleanly. Some would say – go edit the php file. Well, if I wanted to do php, why would I use a plugin? And that’s when I thought – yeah, why do I need a plugin anyway. Thus ends my tryst with plugins. I’d use them lesser and lesser, until it’s about some integration with a third tool.