Bed Adhesion advice for novice and hobbyist users

I’ve been 3d printing with an original ender-3 and a v2 Neo for a couple weeks now.
Really struggling with bed adhesion problems.
I recently started using the “RAFT” option in the slicer and subsequently eliminated all my adhesion issues.
At least for me, this method seems to always work, don’t even need to clean the deck any more.
Plus, this setting seems to be much more tolerant of having a perfectly level bed.
Now there are a few disadvantages:
1: Uses more filament for building the raft.
2: Prints take longer.
3: Raft can be a little tricky to remove.*
1 & 2 are no issue for me, filament is cheap and I’m an old retired guy with lots of free time.
The added time and effort it takes to remove the raft is way better than fighting adhesion problems, cleaning the build surface every time and messing with deck adhesives.
So ,if you’re like me and don’t do a lot of printing and don’t do so as a way to make money, this method is probably worth a try.

*To remove a raft, try using a razor blade and slowly work it between the print and the raft, then go around the perimeter taking little cuts a time, working your way around the perimeter. When the razor won’t reach under any more switch to a sharp knife with a thin blade.

Basically, using a raft is also botched. The undersides of the prints don’t exactly look better by using one…
A raft can be used for prints that have very little contact area on the bottom.

The correct approach would be:
Clean the print bed with something that removes grease, such as isopropanol or a similar cleaner.
Level the bed at the correct temperature.
Select the height for the first layer, no thinner than 0.2mm, e.g. 0.28mm.
Slice test prints with a layer of the same height as the first layer.
Adjust the Z-Offset until the surface of the test prints is absolutely perfect, two hundredths of a millimeter can make all the difference. If there are gaps between the lines in the test print, adjust down; if the surface is rough, increase the distance from the nozzle to the print bed.
Use glue sticks etc. only as a release layer, e.g. for PETG, not to improve print adhesion.

Thanks for your great input.
It gives me a chance to use one of my favorite self generated philosophies.
The Newtonian Principal of Life:
For every advantage there is an equal and opposite disadvantage.
(If you see one without the other, you’re not looking hard enough)
You did a good job of noting the disadvantages of rafts.
My hope was to give some frustrated new guy a method that eliminates the cleaning and tedious adjusting and replaces it with Push Start and Walk Away.
For me this was huge, as I went from failed print to failed print to getting them all to print fine.
Now that I have some more confidence in both my abilities and that of the machine, I can start playing with the techniques you mention.
Actually, I’ve done the whole cleaning bit etc. but will try your Z-Offset approach at some point.
Now between YouTube and this and other groups I get to use another of my philosophies.
Ask 10 hobbyists the same question and you will get 10 different answers, several of which will be in direct opposition to each other.

Hi surely all your answers have had Z offset in. When you have Z offset and bed level and you still no joy , try some 3DLAC if printing ABS or ASA

I never use raft but I do use skirt, just need to find that correct level of squish to the bed. I’m not averse to using glue stick but never a raft too much hassle to remove.