To touch on several points: yes hogging out the inside of a large bowl is tedious. Make sure to stop and sharpen your tool from time to time, it will make a difference.
is drilling cheating? When someone in a class that I was at asked this, the instructor replied "is this a turning class or a drilling class".
(I almost always drill a 3/4" hole to set the depth so I don't turn right through the bottom).
gouge versus scraper? what ever you feel better with att he time. I use both at times, sometimes on the same bowl...just depends upon how the wood is cutting and how I'm cutting that day. If you're going to use a scraper get yourself one of these bad boys: http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/st...rby_heavy?Args
=, you'll appreciate the extra heft.
cheap tools versus expensive/quality tools. My dad was an auto mechanic all his working life and his philosophy (which I have sort of adopted for mine as well) was always buy the best tools you can afford, but don't blame the tool if you're not using it right.
I read a quote from one of the world famous turners (can't remember who it was, Jimmy Clewes, Trent Bosch, Alan Lacer...) but the quote was something like "I'm not saying this way is right or wrong, it's just what works for me NOW."
Anyway, keep practicing and do whatever you feel comfortable with.