The twos aren't really that terrible. The threes seemed to be a much bigger challenge than the twos were for us (and for our friends with kids), and four is proving to be a challenge too.
Our son was never a big tantrum-thrower. He's more of a whiner. Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I think if you've set consistent boundaries before the "terrible twos" set in, then it makes the twos easier. We've done time-outs from the time that Andrew was old enough to be testing boundaries, and we continued with the time-outs throughout the twos and the threes and now the fours. He doesn't like it, but if you enjoy a punishment then it isn't really a punishment anymore. But it's not like he just sits in time-out and then we move on. After his time-out, we sit down with him and discuss with him (simply) why he was put in time-out, and then we reassure him that we still love him, we'll always love him, and we hug and move on. Will you encounter more timeouts as he moves into the twos? Yes. Does he need to go in timeout for everything? No. There are times when he's going to act out because he's tired or bored and I've never felt like it was fair to punish a young child for something like that.
It's also important to realize that many tantrums stem from a two-year-olds inability to clearly articulate their wants and needs, so encouraging your child to talk and helping to expand your child's vocabulary will help wonders. And sometimes you know what the problem is, but you have to carry through with your course of action anyway. For example, if we go somewhere and our son is having a blast, then he gets a little whiny when it's time to leave. We know he's whiny because he wants to stay, but when it's time to go it's time to go. It helps if you clearly communicate to him that you understand why he's upset ("I know you want to stay and play because you're having fun") and then explain simply why it's time to go ("but now it's time to go home and make dinner"). If you can add in something that's fun that he can look forward to when he gets home then it makes it easier, too ("Would you like to help me cook dinner?" or "Would you like to play with your train when we get home?"). You're also modeling good communication skills to your child. Clearly if a child is in the midst of an utter meltdown, this approach won't work and sometimes all you can do is pick up your child and leave.
Finally, allowing them to have some power is a good idea and then you avoid some of the inevitable power-struggles that lead to toddler meltdowns. Letting them choose which pair of pants they want to wear that day or choose which movie you're going to watch or what books to read at bedtime. They don't have to be big decisions. In fact, our rule is, "If it was an important decision, I wouldn't let the kids make it", but does it really matter which long-sleeve t-shirt he wears that day?