My neighbor and I brewed together recently. The recipe we followed was a three-way collaboration between me, my neighbor Charlie and Vault Brewing's Mark Thomas. We put our heads together on an all-grain recipe for an Old Ale. We came up with a fairly simple grain bill for six gallons that we'd brew on Charlie's set up.
Simple is good. For one, I've only ever brewed an all-grain batch once before (and that was with a group of people and there was a lot of a sampling of other beers involved and, well, you know how that goes). And, more to the point, sometimes simple is all you need. The finest pilsners and pale ales, to name two styles, commonly rely on a bare minimum of ingredients yet yield world class brews.
Also, the temptation with homebrewing (and brewing, in general) is toward complicating things. The theory seems to be that more is always better. But more grain types and more hops in your recipe don't always mean better beer. In the case of something like an Old Ale, the idea, or ours at least, was to strip away the complications, to reduce the number of variables and focus on making a simple, yet complex tasting ale.
To that end, we used mostly pale malt, with a small percentage of crystal malt for color....