I only applied to schools where I knew I'd be happy...essentially the T-14 or bust mentality, and I really recommend this to people who aren't excited about the idea of a lower ranked school. That's not to say if WANT to go to a T-14 but rather if you can get into probably at least 1 and you know you would go over anything in the 17-25 range with money, don't waste the application fees/time/effort. I applied to only 2 schools outside the T14, and didn't really want to go to one but it was in my geographic location and the other UCLA I had heard good things about from my employers who went there.
Also, if you're going to ED think it through. I wasted my ED at CLS, probably had a much better shot at NYU and instead am in CLS deferral land, NYU no mans land, and getting ready to put down a deposit on a place in Ann Arbor.
THAT being said, I was such a city boy not even really interested in going to the south or midwest but the more research I did on Michigan the more I grew to love it and am taking it over schools in big cities and other T14s with more money. So I guess once you start getting accepted be sure to give every school a chance, because how you feel at the beginning of your cycle might not be how you feel at the end.
I am happy with the way my cycle turned out. There were disappointments along the way of course, but unless you're sporting a 179/4.0 that will more likely than not happen from time to time. Nonetheless, I feel like everything worked out for the best and I'm ending up where I should be. No matter what school you end up at, if you feel like this at the end, you've had a successful cycle. Congrats on all of us almost being done,
and good luck to the poor souls about to begin!