I always used raised dishes with my foster dogs (danes and mastiffs) b/c that is what the rescue recommended but when I asked my vet about it, he said there are conflicting stories and he didn't feel it made a big difference. I had been feeding Harvey on the floor but I recently switched to a raised dish. Some of them are really expensive but I found one at Petsmart that was reasonable. Nothing fancy but it is sturdy and cheap. Oops, I was going to post a link but I can't find it. Anyway, it was $28 and I'm happy with it- he seems to make less of a mess with his water now too.
Our GSD eats and drinks from elevated bowls because she is such a tall dog. Tucker doesn't have raised ones, though. He just has regular stainless bowls. We may eventually get him an elevated set. but for now he is fine with his regular ones.
I first used a raised bowl for Ralph as he had digestive problems, and then for Ginny and Holly as they got older. Quinn & Reeva are fed on the floor at the moment, but the water bowl in raised otherwise a certain madam would be paddling in it (as my mum and dad found out when they looked after them for us one day)
We use raised and love it! But that didn't start until he was about 5-6 months old and could reach it without making a huge mess. As a young pup I used a smaller bowl on the floor, hand fed, played with food in the crate, etc.
I used to feed raised, but don't anymore.
I had a real nice, handmade wooden feeder that then-DH made. It held stainless steel bowls, but there was a platform underneath that, no matter what I did, would get all slimy from the water being slopped around.
I also read that study that suggested raised increases bloat risk, so that influenced my decision to go away from it, too.
I'm considering going back to it though, now that Gunner is getting older. He's pretty tall and it has to be a little uncomfortable for him to bend down so far.
I've fed raised for about 5 years. And I really feel it's more beneficial than not. When the girls eat from bowls at ground level, I've noticed more instances of having to cough up a piece of kibble that didn't quite go all the way down.