Let me start by telling you my 'preferences' ...
I'm first and foremost an operator - only when I'm satisfied with the operational characteristics do I pay attention to how it looks. This does not mean that I don't care about how it looks - it just means that if I have to compromise how it looks in order to get it to operate well - I will always do that.
Lastly - and this can be important - I rarely operate any equipment, freight or passenger, on less than 22" radius track and usually the track is 26" or larger. But I do try to make 22" "possible". And the turnouts I operate on are usually #8s or larger. I work almost exclusively in HO scale. I regularly use both magnetic ramps and picks for uncoupling.
Jim's strenghts comes from having a lot of experience working with large layouts operations and doing a ton of DCC decoder installations. Jim is also on most of the popular Yahoo DCC email chat list contributing to solving problems and helping people get the most from DCC.
Jim has started a topic series called "Best Practices" which is his experience condense into a set of rules on how to do or not do things. This section is a place to put his presentations. (Note some of the topics are links to other parts of this website where his information is stored.)