In these early days of iCloud, the Photo Stream component is far from perfect. But the concept is good. So it's really a matter of fine tuning on Apple's part.
But I think Photo Stream can still be used in the meantime. In my Macworld Magazine article, Control Photo Stream with iPhoto and Aperture, I explain a workflow that uses iPhoto as a holding tank for your Photo Stream, then tapping the images you want via the iPhoto Photo Browser function in Aperture.
Using this method, you get the backup benefits of Photo Stream, but you don't have a bunch of crud flowing into your photo management environment. Take a look at the article and see what you think.