I've been told writers should separate point of views by a space, a symbol or just a couple of clear sentences denoting the shift. Also, I've been informed that two point of views per chapter is more than enough.
The rules are ingrained now.
So... I read a current novel in which there were several POV characters. I didn't get lost. Each POV was appropriately marked.
Then I picked up a romance author I haven't read in a long time, but she used to be my favorite when I was a teenager. There was head-hopping all over the place. I was so completely distracted but I persevered with the read because I hoped that, based on my past experiences with her stories, I'd glean some emotional satisfaction from her book.
Guess which book made my eyes prick with tears? Boy, was I surprised. The head-hopping author. Somehow I managed to connect to the heroine of the story and when the black moment came, I felt it.
In the book that followed the rules, I didn't know who to connect to because there were so many strong POVs. Whereas the head-hopping book peeked into characters' brains and liberally abused omniscient pov, yet the main characters were stronger than anyone else.
What do you prefer? Do you use more than two point of views in your novel? How do you give the reader someone to root for? And ... do you head-hop?