Well this is only my opinion but you need to find some settings that work for you.....and get away from the dummie modes......I feel knowing how the camera is going to meter and focus is the most important thing in taking nice photos......and all those modes change the metering and focus modes to what it feels is best.... ( if you can remember those settings) you may be able to get better results than I can with the modes....
I am pretty sure me knowing if I am using 1 area focus and perhaps CW metering is much more useful to me than , having the camera guess as to what I want.....
usually to freeze action you need a SS of about 1/250th sec. And here in PA that means opening up the aperture and perhaps raising the ISO.
But I feel if I use P mode with auto ISO and 1 area HS focus along with eith CW or spot meter I can control what my photo will look like , without me understanding the exposure completely.
I would practise some in P mode......and see what you think.....I have no doubt some people can do much better than me by using full manual.....but my system works well for me. And when I hand the camera to someone else ,it seems to work well for them also.
What I am saying you can set the camera up the way you like but as soon as you switch to IA or some scene mode, the camera does not pay any attention to your settings.