Imho, more important than the question of brackets, pipes and the like (example of benchmarking)
is "logic", for example a a most logical order of conditions
or e.g. the use of "elseif" etc whenever possible.
Hash tables can speed up things; regular expressions can replace a bundle of if-comparisons at once; using the "command" parameter in $findfile can improve it's performance alot...
Avoid unnecessary double evaluations like "if (($active ischan) && ($me isop $active))" (you can only be op on a channel) or "if ((!$1) || (!$2))" (if the first is missing, the second is missing for sure
), be as definite as possible, for example in event definitions...
There is always more than one way to make something work, and the best solution for one problem had not to be the best for another one. And, finally, I'd always prefer a clean&neat code to code that processes 0.03ms faster