very interesting discussion, and I think it's fairly related to the science/art disucussion. it all comes down to personal preferences. the experts here will probably do everything within their or their hardwares capabilities to get a very low-noise and realistic result without clipping anything, while other's shorter in the hobby might care more about the visual result rather than the correct/real way of getting it.
me myself, I just started with astrophotography, and I don't mind having a dark background with a liiiitle big of clipping maybe if it leads to a 'nicer' result, with less noise. is it cheating? don't know? is it the wrong way? don't know. do I like the result? yes. so I fully agree with Steve, know your audience, and do it the way you like it.
i tend to have a darker image (preferably without clipping of course) where noise is less present, than a brighter image where more faint signal is visible, but also more noise. it's a hobby in the end and the time, money and energy you put into it needs to be proportional to the joy and fun you get out of it.
me being family man with young kids and busy job; i would never enjoy shooting the same target in mono with different filters, power boxes, a few wlks of heavy equipment, laptops, wires, etc. because that time spend on getting a better image is just not worth it for me. I rather shoot with lightweight mount, dslr, shorter exposure, and have dark bg with maybe some clipping but a satisfactionary result for myself, achieved over 1 short evening, when I do have that opportunity and energy to go out for a few hours. it's all about yourself in the end