alas, margins as wide as the defaults in latex are clearly not common. yes, I know how to override them.
but I wonder whether there is a style file that is a little less adhoc than my own choices. It could recommend / set reasonable margins for documents, perhaps based on what typical papers of this type would be...one for academic papers, one for magazines, one for books, one for letters, etc., as well as font size, etc. That is, I would rely on experts, rather than on myself for this sort of judgment call.