Exfoliation--the right way--is the difference between having awesome-looking skin and "just okay-looking" skin. It's great to get dead skin off 1) so it doesn't clog your pores 2) so you don't have visible flakes and 3) so you don't look dull.
Scratching the skin off is not ideal though. There are so many scrubs out there, and sure they feel good. But your skin isn't necessarily happy at you after you've done all that rubbing.
Friction feels like an assault to your skin, and it will do things to defend itself. Rubbing stimulates oil glands to overproduce because the skin is trying to lubricate itself and form a barrier against your attack. I don't think you want that.
Also, when you're in charge of exfoliation, when you're the one deciding how much pressure to apply (I get so upset when I see people rubbing and tugging at their face) you're probably going to get some live skin cells along with the dead ones. That's not good. And little scratches from overzealous scrubbing leave openings for bacteria. Also not good.
So what should you do, besides be gentle with any scrubs? I'd say just don't bother with scrubs! I'd say use technology. No, I don't mean spinning brushes...I think they harbor bacteria and can also be overly harsh. Instead, try glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid is wonderful because you can sweep it gently with a cotton pad over your face (or hands, wherever!) and it just dissolves the dead skin for you. It knows the difference between live and dead skin, too. If it's well-formulated and not too strong, you look simply refreshed. Bonus, it stimulates collagen.
So that's my opinion. Give up the rubbing for good. Gentle sweeping=happy skin. And doing it on a regular basis is key. Every day, even twice a day (morning and night) if you have a gentle formula, will keep your skin glowing and allow moisturizers to better penetrate.