Good discussion, thanks for the tips, everyone! What better way to respect the designs we've inherited from last century than developing excellent assembly practices? To recap whats been covered since Crispin's post:
-Avoid exposed conductors by placing the shoulder directly against the solder terminal.
-Too much heat can melt, and pull back, a conductor's PVC jacket.
-A "wet" soldering tip facilitates heat transfer, allowing one to apply heat for a shorter time.
-63/37 solder has practically no plastic range and melts at a lower temperature. This helps prevent component movement and uneven cooling.
-To develop exceptional soldering skills, work in a studio witn a Neve V3.