Best Approach to "Data Control" Website?

Hi guys,

I'm very new to RubyOnRails and have just successfully set up the RoR
WebRick server on a local machine running a fully updated version of
FC5 and PostGreSQL. PostGreSQL is setup properly as well as PgAdmin3
and I have a test database working.

Today I've been reading as much of the PDF book "Agile Web Development
With Rails" as possible. I noticed that the author encourages his
readers not to use the "component approach" and wondered why. I know
that the performance is reduced, according to the author, and that is
one of my concerns. But if I don't use the "component approach" then
what other "better approach" is there when you are trying to simulate a
"MS Access like data control" on your webpage?

From my reading so far, it seems like AJAX may hold the key to a higher

performance solution. My personal preference would be to rely as much
as possible on Ruby, rather than upon JAVA, and I'm not sure what that
means in terms of the currently available tools.

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,

Arthur Baldwin