@simplepinmedia Hi Tabby!
I love the way you defined your question, and I would say that although I understand why someone could see them as either/or, I certainly see them rather as both/and. Just keep in mind that they do have a major similarity since both of them create Product Pin. This is well explained in this article. However, Catalogs may be more suitable for those who intend to work with a great number of Pins since you can upload a single feed with a long list of products you have on your website or online store. Also, Product Pins from catalogs can be added to product groups and promoted as shopping ads. Maybe for those using catalogs, Rich Pins might not seem too interesting, but for those using Rich Pins, Catalogs might be an option at some point. But I would keep in mind that even if you are using Catalogs, it is good to have the option to create a single Pin if want, knowing it will pull information from your website. I hope this clarifies!