Interesting topic Glenn. Templating is how my world goes around and stays organized. Most of my templates are for internal usage when doing in-house work, however I have been also keeping on hand templates supplied by specific studios I work with so that when I do a show for them, I use their preferred template. So I guess in that regard, I do use templates yet its a very fluid case-by-case scenario. Color coding and track naming tend to be the chief usage of templates for me and staying organized. Over time, it helps me work quickly when I always know my printmaster track is baby blue, stems are yellow, submasters are lime green, FX LFE/Boom is hotrod red, etc. And I like to color tracks based on the visual association I have to the track name (e.g. air/wind = pale blue, insects = green, traffic = brown, crowd/walla = orange, etc). In all my templates I prefer to set the Region colors to match the Track colors so that its extremely easy to follow the layout, especially in intricate edit sessions. All naming of tracks intended for the final mix are spelled in caps (e.g. DESIGN 1), whereas I use all lowercase for work/temp tracks not intended to go to the final mix (e.g. work 1, junk 1, etc). That way, if I dig back into a show that has come back after, say 4 years, the session isn't alien to me.
And for complex edits consisting of more than 3-5 sound elements, I like to make my edits on a series of work tracks, comp the edits appropriately to 'splits' as needed, and then drag them up to the main FX tracks. the worktracks will always live in my master edit session. However, when the session is prepped for the stage, the stage version has all the work tracks blown out. It keeps the session tidy, clean, and sexy to look at - and it's less of an edit-density-eyesore for the mixer. A mixer is not going to want to look forward to a flamethrower that's 30 tracks wide. So, I'll comp it down to 6 tracks so that they have my intention, yet still have control over the mix and don't have to dread an obscene amount of edits (most of which would not need to be individually tweaked anyway, so giving all 30 tracks would be a moot point). Another example is comp'ing a car engine/driving sequence separate from the skids separate from the tire grit separate from the suspension hits/sweeteners. Give the stage options but don't flood them with spam. In the end it doesn't matter how many sound edits were needed or how it had to be comp'd... just as long as the correct sound is achieved. I only recently was turned on to this method of sound editorial, however I am quickly warming up to it.
I have separate editorial templates for BGz, FX, MX, and DX/ADR - usually prepared with what I feel is the max amount of tracks needed for a dense show (e.g. 96 Hard FX tracks for an action show) - from there I can trim down on a show-by-show basis, especially on walk-n-talks where 32-48 Hard FX tracks are usually sufficient. My opinion is that's always easier to remove what's not needed from the template standard on a case by case basis rather than trying to add to and distort the organization and layout of the session. Additionally I have mix templates with pre-bussed submasters and stem/printmaster print tracks ready to go. And then beyond that are specific editorial templates provided by particular studios as to what they want for a layout.
Templates are funny in this way. They're so rigidly vital, in my opinion, yet so malleable because of each shows differing needs.