You're just as experienced, if not more so, than any of us here, Steve. Don't be silly.
Personally, I always run separate /home partitions when I install a Linux distro because that was how I was taught to do it (by Bruno, actually). That being said, the advantage of a separate /home partition is that if you tweak-to-death, bork, or corrupt your operating system, you can always reinstall (or restore from backed up image) your /(root) without loosing any user data stored in the /home directories. And I have had to do this many, many times, so I know what I'm talking about here.
On my tester installations, I don't really care because I don't have extensive customizations or data stores in those installations. On my main and secondary installations, I DEFINITELY do not want to lose or corrupt the /home directories in any way. They are doubly backed up... on separate drive and DVD media.
That's just me, though. GNU/Linux is a wonderful thing. You can do things pretty much any way you want on your own systems.