I seem to always end up making 5-8 personas in any business I work for. Sometimes we end up with more, but rarely (if ever) less. I love using personas and think they're an invaluable tool...but I sometimes wonder if things could not just be simplified? Could we have just 2 personas - one for each extreme?
For example: One power user who expects a lot from the product and knows how to use it. Then one novice who is terrible at computing and doesn't understand the product.
From that point onward if you try to cater to both you'd find a happy middle that serves your average user.
I'd be interested to know if anyone has tried this or knows of any good arguments for and against a small persona sample please :)