The problem: where to put drippy, food-goopy spoons and utensils while cooking? There are those spoon-shaped ceramic plates, which are adorable, sure, but who cooks with onespoon, which is about all you can fit on one of those things? And what are you supposed to do with the measuring cups, whisks, knives, strainers, peelers, graters, spatulas, and other such utensils you use while cooking? The diminutive little spoon-shaped plate just isn't going to cut it.
While I've developed a system of constant rinsing-and-washing of utensils while cooking (the trick: unloading the dishwasher and dish drain first, to give yourself a clean slate), I do find it useful to have a place to put utensils in when I'm in the middle of cooking. I like to use a plain old plate, as large or small as needed for the particular dish or meal that's being made. Easy, practical, and it works great in containing food-prep mess.