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Component cables are in my experience, much much better than s-video. Granted, a lot depends on the quality of the wires and the output signal, but components are much more likely to be better.
In my case, plugging my playstation 2 into a 36" Wega with an s-video cable, the clarity and resolution was definitely there, but there was some pretty bad shadowing with any orange colors (i.e. the orange was offset by about 1/4" to the left), and there was some noticeable interference patterns (moving graininess around edges). Upgrading to component wires, the image was, for all intents and purposes, perfect.