I hadn't expected the use of torches and lanterns in combat would get such a lot of attention from experienced players, to be honest.
Once we have Cats Eyes we don't need much more, do we? Probably we won't have Cats Eyes early on, but early in the game there are a lot of places with fixed light spots that we can use to our advantage. The Dragonels around of the farm, for example; I normally let them follow me back inside the farm, where I positioned myself close to the exit, where it becomes dark, while the Dragonel would still be in the light when attacking me.
With many Outlanders you can do the same thing, as you'll normally find them around a campfire. It's getting one on one that can be more difficult with some of the Outlander camps.
Once you have your special weapon feat, the dark also gives you an advantage, because your feat is a sure hit, so no darkness penalty.
I believe I only started to use torches and lanterns when I my defense had become so strong that a bit of light didn't matter much anymore.
For me it's more a matter of role playing it. I don't always want a character that buffs to the hilt. I like trying out differing techniques. That's why I built a shield specialist (and how I found out that corner-on squares are considered ranged for purposes of shield-deflection). I actually rarely use illumination of any kind (though personally I dislike the quality of the "light" Cat's Eyes gives), but I decided to try a thuggish character with a big hammer and a lantern wandering around crushing everything.
Having fun with it right now. For this character, it's nice how the big glow from the lantern helps attract prey.