Percentage wise, the portions of my adult life when I have lived in a house where I cared about maintaining a lawn was quite small. Our house in Belfair had a decent sized lot, but a very small lawn. I started with an old fashioned 'reel style' mower, and eventually upgraded to an electric mower when I got tired of having to mow every 3 or 4 days.
The electric mower didn't have bag collection...it was self-mulching. I'm not sure if it did anything for the yard...mowing was about the only thing I did, and I just mowed whatever grew, whether it was grass, or weeds, or even moss.
Now, I've been borrowing my friend until I decide to buy a new mower of my own. I'm using his mower as an attempt to find out what does make for a better lawn...collecting the trimmings, or letting them lay there, as self-mulching. Half the yard I use the bag, the other half I don't.
At least, that's my justification for not bothering to empty the bag when I'm only half done doing the back yard.
In related news, at just over 1/3rd of an acre, I think this yard is borderline big enough for a riding mower....IF I knew I was going to be here for like 20, 30 years.