Can someone shed some light on this subject? I've only ever used one vessel for brewing, as opposed to a primary fermentation unit and then transferring it to a secondary fermentation unit. Is it better, somehow, to do this, or should I just keep doing what I am doing?
"God created beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin
what you're doing is fine. if you need to free up your fermenter or need to clear a beer more after a lengthy primary or add fruit or something like that, you can use a secondary. but normally you can just leave your beer in the primary for 2-4 weeks depending on style and then bottle or keg it. secondary can also be used for bulk aging of a big beer if there aren't bottles or a keg available to put it in after primary. i think you'll find a ton of people on here don't bother with a secondary.
Well there is not a definitive answer to your question but the idea of a secondary in homebrew terms to to give your beer a chance to clear. Many of us here have determined by no scientific matter that just leaving the beer in the primary for the same length of time will get the job done.
If you are going to add anything to the beer post fermentation it may be wise to move vessels though.
In the pro world they use conicals and can just dump all the yeast and garbage out the bottom and then is considered a bright tank, some may move it too though.