in reply to
Design Patterns Considered Harmful
I definitely agree with that. I was one of those junior developers who picked up that book. All I could see were the patterns. What newbie wouldn't want to say, "I created a new Singleton Abstract Factory." ?!? It seemed as if Patterns started sprouting from every orifice.
Being slightly older and wiser, I have now learned to apply the patterns correctly. Now using patterns simply is a guide, I've been able to cut my OO design time significantly. Rather than sometimes going into a very deep think to solve a design problem, or worse yet, designing myself into a corner, I can usually, and rather quickly, come up with the pattern that will properly apply to the system I'm designing. Its also helped with coming up with designs that strongly encourage code reuse.
I highly recommend Design Patterns, but the reader must must have a lot of common sense or a good amount of experience to get the full affect of this book. Reading it because "Patterns are kewl!" will likely lead to poorly designed programs and heartache when you try to fix them.