(You don't want to terminate the search if the current node is not the entity you're looking for AND it has children, but you are. Instead, if searching the subtree yields null, you want to continue with the next node.)
I don't think there's any difference, it's a matter of which you find more readable. I like to see == because that can be seen to be an equality check at a glance, whereas a method call you actually have to read the word to find out what is happening.
It would appear that you have a PEBKAC error going on.
Why is common sense not common?
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level where they are an expert.
Sometimes it takes a lot of work to be lazy
Please stand in front of my pistol, smile and wait for the flash - JSOP 2012