Depends, if its alot of local light sources then use high decay spot and points. Area lights shouldnt blow out too much if your using them correctly.
What are you using them for precisely? Show us the scene?
If your trying to bounce the light around with GI it can be a bit troublesome in some crowded internal spaces, some like using portal lights in mental ray can help your innitial GI rays get a bit of a boost in the right direction.
However, i would just stick with simple lights and get to grips with the light linker so you dont get influences where you dont want them.
FX supervisor - double negative