I would like to know what are the best resources to use to teach and learn elementary subjects (calculus, linear algebra). I remember when learning calculus, I used Spivak's book, which had wonderful problems, but the explanations were not really memorable, the illustrations weren't that appealing and it didn't have enough applications. I would like to know the mathematician's opinion on Strang's books on calculus and linear algebra and the others. Are they not fit to be recommended to math majors? Are they rigorous on any level? What other books do you recommend that have what these don't?
Also, I think that learning through examples first and some visualisation is superior to putting generalities upfront with countless formulas Therefore if you know any book that's written in this vein, please post it.
P.S. Strang's books stress the importance of matrix notation. Is that good? Does it add any insight?