I can only speak for my own experience.
I never added top because I would lose it later.
i added it becasue it sounded good, coming out of the desk before it even hit the machine, right NOW.
I never made any tonal allowance for what the tape would do to the sound over time.
And I never knew anyone else who did either.
One certainly tried to record with as high a signal as possible onto tape becasue of the noise floor.
And yes, sometimes you hit the tape hard (I do it by aligning hotter, not by slamming the meters, but that's me, i don't like the sound of the front end of the machine being overloaded, i like the TAPE working hard) because you like the sound of tape compression.
but again, that's not because you'll "lose it later"... it's again an artistic choice NOW.
Everyone really SHOULD be able to monitor their sound in input out of the desk or pres or whatever BEFORE you hit your recorder of choice.
Otherwise you will never really KNOW what your chosen method of recording is losing or changing from your real original sound.
(Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Fixx, The Outfield...)