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Meshes and Vertexbuffers

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I''m trying to write a loader for x-files and have a question regarding meshes and vertexbuffers. As I understand it you can do this at least in two ways: 1. Extract the mesh from the x-file and then basically store it as it is (after extracting materials and so forth) and then draw it using the DrawSubset function. 2. Extract all vertices (and more) and storing them in vertexbuffer and then discarding the mesh. Then you render from the vertexbuffer and apply all sort of fancy stuff like indices, shaders etc. Have I understood it correctly? Please give a short explaination of this if I''m way off. Which way should I go? The second sound much more flexible so I think I''m gonna do that.

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Also, how efficient are the D3DXLoadMeshFromX() and D3DXLoadMeshFromXof() functions.
Now I''m loading the data my self using enum objects and stuff.

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