Question was what shot do you prefer. I prefer the shot that is available to me and will get the job done most efficiently with the weapon I have at the time. I have been hunting for nearly 35 years. Situations will dictate your kill zone. I have hunted and killed deer with 12 and 20 gauge, 50 cal muzzle loader .204, .223, 270, 30-30, Rem 35, 7.62 x 39, 30.06, 308, 7mm, 7.62 x 54 rifiles and pitols like 357 mag and 41 mag. Oh and yes my bow! In my very young days of hunting (say 12-16) I always tried to take heart and lungs shots becuase I was unsure of my abilites. As I got to shoot more (practice) and got more confident with my shotting I started taking neck shots. Then I moved to head shots if not trophy hunting (always butcher and eat what I kill). With a rifle or pistol I like to shoot at the back of the head the best. It gives a nice target and will drop them like a ton of bricks. Necks shots work nearly as well. They usually drop them in thier tracks. Sometimes you do not have the shot that you prefer and you will have to take what is available. My opion is that if you don't have a kill shot don't take it! I have always subscribed to the theory "One shot one kill". Make sure you have the right weapon for the shot and that you have the ability to make the shot for a kill.
Many people hunt from some type of stand. When practicing try to simulate the type of shot you will be taking. Like up hill or down hill shots, early morining and late afternoon shots. This will increase your confidence and your sucess.
As for the rotten neck, I have never seen that although I have seen gang green in front and back legs that were missing. I have seen deer with lower jaws hanging, front leg dangling, hind leg dragging and missing an antler.
When I first started to hunt this kind of supprised me because of the way I was taught to hunt. Then as the years went by, I am less and less supprised by what I see. Many people do not take the time to propery prepare themselves for the sport of hunting. Many just buy a gun and head for the woods with no preperation at all.