Scraped vs sanded, that one I find depends on the wood. Straight grained wood I find easy to scrape, so Oak and the like. As soon as I get to wilder figuring like the pomela sapele, where there are crossed interlocked grains giving patches of softer and harder (end and side grain) timber, I find it easier to sand the finish on. It can all be done with a plane, I’ve seen cabinet makers achieve this, but I suspect years of experience , technique and tutoring come into play there.
With rippled sycamore I can plane a finish on that by planing with the ripple. The grain inbetween the ripple is fibrous and soft, so fine plane shavings leave a great finish. tried planing it the other way once, never made that mistake again, massive tear out, ouch!
Violin makers are so good at this, shaping and finishing with chisels, miniature planes and scrapers, fascinating to watch.
i would normally go to 400/600 on the timber and then, if doing an oil finish, rub in using one or two thou grit paper. On the first few coats this helps fill the gain too. I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying out different finishes. This one, for instance, I am trying half a dozen coats of Danish (yea I know), then high gloss car polish, car glaze and then wax. Should give a very high gloss finish, but with a very thin coat.