Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: The Very Tip of Lake Michigan
I also would not cement posts into the ground, but I would not place a free standing structure on pedestal blocks either. It could never be stable, and worst case high winds could literally knock it off. I have seen big winds do bad things to unanchored structures.
I always opt to dig a post hole, set a brick or flat stone in the bottom of the hole, insert the post, and fill the hole with pea gravel. You will find that it will "set" the post laterally as tightly as concrete, and if you ever want to remove the post, simply pull straight up on it; it'll come right out. I've been building anything that has a post this way for years (my decks, fences, freestanding outside spigots (2), etc.).
I set my outside posts first, and bolt the rim joist to each post with two 1/2" galvanized carriage bolts (6" long). I almost always set long enough 4x4s to use as handrail anchors or roof/ structural members. I then use rated joist hangers and fasteners and set the joists flush with the top of the rim. For a ten foot deck I'd set four corner posts and then place a post in between each corner, for a span of five feet. The center post could indeed be set on a pedestal block unless you want structural support above the decking.
So you easily can tell that I am a joist hanger builder. Since I have never had an issue with the three large multi level decks I have constructed, along with several smaller platforms for various uses, I can't see changing now. Your results may vary.
Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,