My guess some of Ken's settings try to address what is getting nice looking jpg's without any post processing right out of the camera. He has always seen to have been a fan of warmer / saturated colors especially with people. I have not liked the skin tones in some of this pics.
I like P (use the wheel to control speed/aperture combo) or A modes and always adjusting the ISO to suit using easy ISO but the D600 is so much better at higher iso's than my D90 I may revisit that preference. I got a 24MP camera so I am going to shoot in 24 MP but usually shoot raw/fine jpg. I can always resize.
My goal is to find a reasonable quick fix in LR to do pop (clarity, sharpness, etc) that many need when shoot in neutral/standard for quick images.