Can we alter the display?
Doesn't look as customizable as a view but has the automatic grouping option where it seems to put like-fields in a drop down.
Is this the only benefit? Am I able to get the best of both worlds? Am I missing something?
If i understand your question
If i understand your question correctly you mean to theme the product display?? If that is what you want, the easier way without any programming skill is to use Panels. Panels allow you to arrange the field follow the default layout or you can create your own layout. Other wise a custom tbl.php is another good option if you have programming skill in PHP.
Also, there's lot's of
Also, there's lot's of configuration both on the product display node's display configuration tab and also on the product's display configuration tab.