I have recently been reading a lot of pool threads where people are claiming that they haven't received payment, aren't earnings coins
I'd like to make this clear, BE CAREFUL.
There's no inclination for a pool to pay out if they feel otherwise, a large amount of pools have been opened recently as Litecoin has been booming with popularity, and people need to know, if the pools refuse to pay out, it's difficult if not impossible to obtain your payment from these small pools should they decide to disappear, or refuse to pay.
So please, be aware that if you do decide to use these pools, it's very easy for them to walk away with your LTC, without paying out to any of their miners.
I recommend that you stick to more well known, and confirmed pools if you really care about being paid, otherwise your coins are at stake and you could be making some scammers very rich.
The most "secure" and "reliable" pool is P2Pool
, as it isn't ran by a centralized entity, so there's no risk of your coins being held back from you.
If you are looking for a pool to join please consider one from the Safe Hash Rate Alliance:https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=20028.0
Or find a more comprehensive list on the wiki:https://litecoin.info/Mining_pool_comparison
If you have any doubt about a pool that isn't paying out, please message me, or any of the moderators on the forum immediately, multiple confirmed reports will result in a warning being placed onto the pool's thread.