This question will be submitted as a wiki. The intent is to gather valuable configurations, deployment ideas, and smb.conf settings to assist with this wonderful service.
Having used this for over a year in a mission-critical role, I can safely say that there are ups and downs to using this software; but along the way, I also learned a thing or two that separates truth from hype. What things have you encountered, done, or otherwise thought of to make this service work its best?
I've taken to posting answers to my own question, as no-one seems to have an "incentive" to provide their own answers. Even though it's a community wiki I would rather refrain from answering my own questions, if possible, so if you have something to share, please please please leave an answer!