Declawing is a controversial subject. I have friends who had their cats declawed and their cats are all fine--done by reputable vets who checked the kittens out thoroughly before and after the procedure. But they were declawed young -- not sure how young though (apparently it hurts more when they're older).
Our cat is not declawed, but we got him when he was almost a year old and that's how he came. Scratching posts are good up to a certain point but if you have a cat with claws, you have to be willing to put up with a few dings around the house (just as you would have to put up with children occasionally writing with crayons on the wall). I've done the double-sided tape trick, which works to a certain extent, and I've also done the foil trick (cats don't like foil, so they won't step where foil is). But I can't cover all the good furniture in foil or double faced tape--I'll look like totally looney tunes! So if he scratches at a chair leg every now and again, it's not that big a deal to me. As long as he's not doing it every day.
He's pretty good about not ruining the house, but there are MAJOR claw marks on my wall below one particularly high window that he likes to jump into and sit in. He watches the whole neighborhood from there. I'm annoyed by the claw marks in the wall, but I'm also kinda proud that my big boy can jump that high!
Having a pet can be a lot of work. I have to steam clean the carpet more often than I'd like after he throws up furballs (and he always does this on the carpet, never on the tile or hardwood floors). I have to vacuum all the time, too (I'm allergic to cats).
But he's a good ol' boy. And damn warm during the winter!