The spreadsheet’s functionality is powerful but can get ugly fast. I developed a whole diet tracking set of spreadsheets at one point. I would have one table of foods and then their macro nutrients breakdown. Then each daily diet would reference the foods and the amount I would eat and pull the nutrient information out and calculate the serving information. It was a bunch of trial and error to get it there and not all that pretty by the end, but served me well.
I think spreadsheets in general get ugly quickly… even excel. it’s a powerful ugly tool that works well enough.
That table mode seems excessively verbose. My own home-brewed example uses tab-delimited fields and a few special markers:
#This is a caption line
*header1 header2 header3
data1 data2 data3
(only in this example, replace spaces with tabs). It’s easier to create (but admittedly a bit harder to read in the raw format) and easier to parse (since the output in my case will always be HTML).
The thing is, org-mode does all that verbose stuff for you, have a look at this great demo that shows what you can do with tables: https://youtu.be/fTJVLJd_gz0?t=2m45s