Gene, it would be really cool to hang out with Peter Reinhart, and try a few places- such as New Park and Pizza Town. He also, I think, needs to be brought up to speed on Neapolitan in NY. Keste, Motorino, Paulie Gee's. The few West coast places Peter has showcased (such as Mozza) are all good and nice, but none of these, imo, compare to what NY has to offer.
On the topic of things Peter should be doing... He should definitely be bringing his film crew down to Craig's Garage.
Generally speaking, in this area, you'll have pizzerias (formica, full glass windows, counter with register, no waitstaff, neon) that will sell slices and you'll have what I would call pizza restaurants or taverns that will frequently only sell whole pies. We have a place in town that has a kind of dark dingy tavern area that's connected to a bright glass-windowed pizzeria where you can order slices, but that kind of tavern pizzeria combo is pretty rare. Some of the tavern places might call themselves pizzerias, but for the most part the archetype 'pizzeria' is something along the lines of New Park- at least the front of New Park. The back feels kind of tavern-y.
Anyway, in a typical pizzeria, there will always be slice pies, baked in advance (but, hopefully, not too far in advance). You have the option of walking in and ordering slices and having them reheated or calling ahead and having a freshly prepared pie ready when you get there. In a very popular place, like Joe's, the turnover is such that slices don't sit. So everyone's getting a relatively fresh slice. There's absolutely nothing worse than going into a pizzeria and finding slices that have been sitting on the counter for a few hours.
You'll always find a plain cheese slice pie and maybe a pepperoni, and almost always a thick bready, avoid at all cost, L&B antithesis Sicilian. They may put garlic knots in the case, or strombolis or the occasional white pie or ziti pie. It's a tough job for owners balancing between having options for the customer, but not having stuff sit around too long. I've noticed in California that they tend to really go overboard with the pre-baked slice options. This is bad.
At far as what sells more in this area, slices or whole pies, in the burbs, whole pies are king.
"Hi, I'd like to order a plain cheese pie"
"Alright, that'll be 15 minutes."
In the city, it's almost always slices.
Re-heating slices is generally not that messy. When you bake a pizza, you're driving a great deal of moisture out of the dough. That steam is integral in transferring the heat from the floor of the oven up to the cheese. Because the cheese is getting moist heat from below, it bubbles. When cheese bubbles, it pools/travels. You only get this phenomenon on the first bake. Baked crust, without the moisture from the dough in it, has a strong insulating effect, a very high R-value, so, during the re-heat, the cheese is getting almost no heat from below, so, rather than bubbling/spreading, it just browns a bit on top. The cheese can and does get very hot, napalm hot, but it generally doesn't travel off the side and onto the hearth.