Hibernation isn't bad. I don't know how it could be. Here's a layout for you:
Uses no power while in use (computer can stay in Hibernate mode indefinitely)
Allows a faster startup time
Uses more power to go into hibernate than sleep does to go to sleep.
Slower startup and shutdown time than sleep.
Allocates a portion of your hard disk (equal to the amount of RAM you have) that you can no longer use.
Allows for the fastest startup and shutdown
Uses power while in standby (computer cannot stay in sleep mode indefinitely).
Basically, if you're to return to your notebook in an hour or less (on battery) sleep is the better choice. If you're to leave your notebook unplugged for a long time, hibernate is the better option to return to your work.