I've always shot all my cameras (D2h/D200//D300/D700) in AF-C focus priority mode whenever possible.
In the case where I absolutely need the camera to fire then I use Focus + Release. I never use simple release mode.
Even in situations where my frame rate is so critical that I've gone back and checked the EXIF times to test this, I have not personally seen any significant reduction in frame rate. In other words, maybe I get 7 or 7.,5 instead of 8 but I don't consider that "significant" in the context where I cared (and I really do care for a certain sport I shoot every fall).
This is all to say that I've used Focus+Release for 7 years now and never seen a good reason to use simple Release mode. My theory is that Focus+Release might wait a few 10's of milliseconds to get focus fully caught up but it won't wait much longer.
I shoot Focus Priority in most cases because I've gotten to the point where for most things I shoot I either want it in perfect focus or I don't want to bother filling my card with junk. This is a religious and philosophical thing; there is no right answer to the question of the "right mode" except to find our own least evil. I do lose a lot of shots because of it but I also think the shots I get are overall better quality. If my priorities change for a certain situation, I change mode. I'm not totally dogmatic about this