It is usually assumed that detection of a disease susceptability gene via marker polymorphisms in linkage disequilibrium with it is facilitated by consideration of marker haplotypes. However, capture of the marker haplotype information requires resolution of gametic phase, and this must usually be inferred statistically. Recently, we questioned the value of the marker haplotype information, and suggested that certain analyses of multivariate marker data, not based on haplotypes explicitly and not requiring resolution of gametic phase, are often more powerful than analyses based on haplotypes. Here, we review this work and assess more carefully the situations in which our conclusions might apply. We also relate these analyses to alternative approaches to haplotype analysis, namely those based on haplotype similarity and those inspired by cladistics.