The only thing worse than mudding drywall is sanding it back off. And the thought of doing it for the next 4+ months does not get me to excited! But it is the final hurdle between construction zone and looking like an actual semi-finished room. I've found that 2 to 3 coats can get me in the ballpark and then one good sanding is needed. Then a touch up, mostly in the corners, and I'm ready for primer. For the first time I tried using drywall sanding screens instead of sandpaper or the wet sponges - these are definitely the ticket. Once you come to terms that you WILL get REALLY messy no matter what, these worked the fastest and with the best results. For my final touch up I get the wet/dry sanding sponge with the wedged edge for feathering in along the corners so you don't mess up the other side of the corner you just finished.
Parlor sanded and ready for primer
Finally your reward for all that work, two coats of rolling primer on the ceiling and walls - I used to hate painting - now I fantasize about it!