When I was a younger ham trying to snag an interesting DX contact, it would never occur to me to use a straight key. I would always use a keyer and paddle. I figured I was too likely to screw up the contact with a sending mistake if I were using a straight key. At the time, this was probably the right call. Now, years later, if I am nervous about completing an exciting DX contact, I push the paddle aside in favor of my straight key. I make fewer mistakes with it than with my paddle at this stage, and it's easy to emphasize the part of my call that the DX seems to be struggling with. In fact, I sometimes start out making a contact with the paddle and revert to the straight key when I can tell the DX station is struggling to copy me. It helps (almost) every time. Of course, this technique would be too tiring if there was a huge pileup, but that doesn't concern me. I don't do pileups. Sometimes, it's good to get old.