> I guess I still don't understand when models need to be used and when
> simple values are ok.

My simplified answer would be:

* Models are partially managed by Wicket. E.g. CompoundPropertyModels
can be found by model-less children, and Wicket takes care of
detaching all models after rendering is done.
* You can reuse models for different components. So you use
composition rather then inheritance, which is more flexible.
* Models are the expected connection to data with Wicket. As most
components do use models, designing your components such that they do
too is consistent and will probably make them easier to understand by
new users.

If you don't care about the above items for a specific case, it's fine
to not use a model. It's not an anti-pattern. :)


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