I found very instructive to play with the Linux I/O schedulers.
While in many tests they show similar results, it really seems that CFQ and deadline have an edge over the old, legacy anticipatory scheduler.
In the end,the move to CFQ (the standard scheduler in recent kernels) was a sensible one. Anyone wanting to squeeze a little more performance from its disk subsystem can either fine-tune the CFQ scheduler or use the deadline one. For example, some interesting consideration can be found here.
Have a nice day!