The Android market is full of apps that do the same thing, and most of them do the same thing as the apps you have on your phone by default.
The most common title for all these is: “better”. Better keyboard, better phonebook, better everything. Are they really better ? In my opinion, most of them are better, but that don’t mean it is better to use them instead of using default apps.
One of the reason for this is that default apps can’t be removed from the system, so if you install another app to handle your message you will usually receive two notifications unless you deactivate the default one to stop bugging you. But there will still open 2 proccesses to do the same thing which require more power and will slightly slow down your phone.
On the other hand, some apps will really impress you that you will have no other way but use it. This is the case of Swype, the best way to type.
If you want the best experience but you care about your battery life, think about which are your most important apps and try to find something good for that. For the apps you use rarely or you don’t care, stick with the default ones.