I used to use a straight edge and agonize over perfect cuts... now, after cutting out about 15 of these models, I cut free-hand with a fresh x-acto blade and it goes pretty quickly. If I feel there are more precise cuts needed like in the motor mount area, joining wing plate halves, cutting control-surface edges or nose cuts, I'll use a straight edge. I can cut out most planes in about 2 hours... assembly over a several days of off-and-on work.
I think you and Scott are both right.
Depends on how much time a beginner wants to spend and how fast he wants to get in the air, especially on his 1st build.
If you are nice and neat and pay attention to detail the cutting takes a bit longer and "generally" makes for a cleaner build but,..
It also depends an awful lot on the plane you are building also.
A more advanced build might require you to be a bit more meticulous about your cuts and building etc but on many others it's not really all that important.
Many of these planes are very forgiving in their building, unless you are "way off" on your cuts.
Using a ruler is good as a guide but lots of guys get away with a flyable 1st trainer plane by coarse cutting and slapping it together with just hot glue.
On your first build, especially a trainer like say the RCPowers SU-34 I would not fret over perfection at all. Close enough works with this build!
Chances are a beginner is going to take a few dirt naps right away so spending an over abundance of time on your 1st plane "may not" be the best route.
Get the 1st one under your belt, fly it, crash it, learn then build again. When your flying skills get real good and you are crashing much less, then go for the gold on the build.
In other words for a beginner I would save the delicate heart surgery for more advanced builds and as time goes by and as building and flying skills improve go for perfection if that's your goal later on to maybe save some time and frustration.
Just a thought.
And on the 8th day God said: "Go NAVY",.. and it was good! Pray like everything depends on God. Prepare like everything depends on you.