If it is done correctly I would have to say that crate training is definitely a good thing, especially with puppies or juvenile canines.
I get asked pretty often about potty training and dealing with destructive dogs. Here is what I typically respond:
You want a crate that's big enough to let them stand up and turn around and be comfortable, animals typically won't potty where they sleep so that's why it works but they should not be kept in the crate for extended periods (puppies need to go potty every 2-4 hours depending on age, adults can hold it longer).
If the puppy messes in the house, never correct or rub their nose in it because they don't understand why you're mad and can actually create bladder/urinary tract/intestine issues by thinking that potty at all is bad. If they potty inside with you seeing it (if you see it after the fact just clean up well and ignore) while it is happening - clap your hands once sharply, say "no" and then pick it up and take it outside.
Every time the puppy potties outside give tons of praise and or little treats so they learn that is the correct place for it. Hope this helps and enjoy your new best friend!
Dogs (especially young dogs) can be destructive out of boredom and that is usually the case. If this sounds like your pup, then crate training may be in your best interest. The crate needs to be big enough where they can stand up, turn around and lay back down comfortably. Put in a "indestructible" toy with them. I put "indestructible in quotes because I have seen some of the larger breeds still be able to tear them to pieces. I like the Kong toys that you can put peanut butter (or apple sauce) in and freeze. It gives the pup something to keep them occupied. Do not leave your dog in there for an extended period. Make sure you never act like their crate is a bad place or a punishment for something they may have done - their crate should be their happy safe place! Give a treat when they get it, put down a throw or something similar that you don't mind possibly being torn up.
Crates should not be a negative experience and you don't have to feel bad for using one - dogs are naturally cave dwellers!