Try to figure out when field templates are the wrong approach...
I've been told and agree that you should ultimately avoid creating node templates and try to process things before they hit the theming layer. I believe this because you alway want to add more room for theming later, and data changes should stay with the proper entity... at least a field template if not template preprocess, nodeapi, etc.
So... if I have a node type that's requiring I end up with 3-5 field templates, to do some logic on the display of links vs. text, add standard suffix text, etc. When do I throw in the towel and just do it all in the node template because that's the right thing to do?
Maybe I just need contemplate?