Pixel patterns are a great way of adding subtle intricacy to design. When used correctly, it can add depth and focus to typography that normal "Web 2.0" tricks (glows, shadows and reflections) can't usually achieve.
CSS3 has a lot of great features too, but it doesn't have quite the power that illustrator's Graphical Styles can achieve. Lets say you want system text to mirror the text styles of a dollar bill:
Sadly, there is no easy way to accomplish this, but I have a solution I've been working on that degrades pretty gracefully and doesn't require any scripts to run. I've nicknamed it "Afterburning", and the idea is simple: Copy the text behind the element, offset it slightly, and apply a background image over for masking.
There are a few tricks being used:
content: attr();. In most cases, the "title" attribute isn't widely used for a header element, so we can copy the text content into this area for our :before CSS rule. The only side effect will be a tooltip when you hover over the text. If that is an issue, use the newly implemented "data-" attributes discussed here.
As with any modern filter, I wouldn't recommend it until CSS3 is more widely used. Nonetheless, small little flairs like these reward your users for browsing with the newest standards, while keeping your website content easy to update.