I was wondering if the preferred method of configuring Asterisk is through the Gui or hand editing the conf files?
the Asterisk GUI is, I think, still quite new and in beta testing.
I use FreePBX, this is a pretty well-established front end for configuring Asterisk.
It takes a little more setting up than just Asterisk, but it’s fairly straightforward and there are a few good guides about.
I think it’s well worth the effort, it makes the overall system far easier to use.
If you are interested in learning how to configure and understanding Asterisk you should start configuring Asterisk by changing the .conf. Although using a gui sounds apealing, if you have no idea what happens inside the Asterisk you are on your own when things doesn’t work out as expected. Most gui-s are limited in there options and using limited gui will limit you in exploring the usibility of Asterisk.
A great gui, but not for free, is ScopServ (www.scopserv.com) with all features you can think of (monitoring, configuring, provisioning etc.etc.) and, if you have basic knowledge of configuring Asterisk, very easy to use.