You don’t use a sledge hammer to pound a nail through a piece of wood. So don’t use Adobe Illustrator to build annual reports and paginated documents. Freehand is not an alternative either because, just like Illustrator, it’s a drawing program.
I don’t know when in the graphic design history creatives started to use drawing programs as desktop publishing tools. These two programs are totally two different breeds of design software with very different purposes.
For one, a drawing program does not have the facilities to control pagination. It may not have a feature set that caters to automatic page numbering, threading text (continous linking of text from frame to frame) and preflight and package features. Because of this, your efficiency in creating these sort of files diminishes, while the program demands a lot of manual inventory and update of settings, you are losing time to deliver more.
If you are a true creative, your goal is to get the program to work for you and not the other way around. Let the software do most of the repetitive task and most of the memory work (where it needs to remember certain settings such as in your character and paragraph styles and in your master pages). Adobe InDesign CS2 here is one such software that fulfills the page layout category. It does one heck of a job and more, may I add.
Get it right the first time by using the right tools and everything else will fall into place. It will be design heaven!