I have learned to be even more skeptical than before about the slew of APIs doing the rounds in the XML development community. An XML instance is just a documents, guys; you need to understand the document structure and document interchange choreography of your systems. Don't let some API get in the way of your understanding of XML systems at the document level. If you do, you run the risk becoming a slave to the APIs and hitting a wall when the APIs fail you.
Read the rest in ITworld.com - XML IN PRACTICE - APIs Considered Harmful