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External references - best practice?  remove, break, or lock?

Question asked by Chris Manger on Nov 30, 2011
Latest reply on Dec 1, 2011 by Matt Lombard

What is the standard consensus on external references?  I know that when you have a lot of them, in many parts of an assembly, it slows down the assembly considerably.  Is it a best practice to remove these external references and add dimensions to constrain them?  If I want to keep the reference but not have the slow-down, is locking them the best way to go?   When would it make since to break them?