A bit of a pet peeve of mine is people who think that photosynths are just panoramas or that panoramas are photosynths (because they are actally quite different, though in the future, there is no reason why a panorama will not be just another sort of photo that you use in a photosynth).
Many people shoot their first synths as though they are shooting panoramas (even I made this mistake). By doing this, you do not get a good photosynth (you would need to move all around a subject to get good 3D reconstruction) or a good panorama (you can only see a few photos at time).
To sum up, both panoramas and photosynths are great ways to share what it is like to be in a place, but they are very different experiences, both in viewing and in shooting. For panoramas, it is important to stay in one place and look all around. For photosynths, it is important to move all around individual subjects, but you get the freedom to move in any direction, so long as you use small steps.