I'm not certain I feel qualified enough to start a thread on the subject. But I think you can make either way work. I just feel better putting in more work. More energy throughout the day, I feel like I recover better, and I've leaned out faster with it.
For full disclosure:
First, I like doing stuff anyway. Hiking, strong man style conditioning, hill sprints, est. I love spending time outside getting my lungs burning. AND I've come to find, the better shape I get in, the more not only I like it, but the more I'm able to do. It is the one variable that, as you diet, tends to naturally increase as you build capacity (at least for me). It's also the one side of dieting that for all intents and purposes can always increase. You can virtually always to more walking or eccentric less pump work. You CANNOT always eat less, eating less has a very finite limit. When I started reducing calories I actually found myself avoiding doing the stuff I liked and wanted to do.
Second, I'm not all that lean yet. I'm not down to single digit bodyfat yet, so I don't know what that will be like.
Third, I haven't stepped foot in a gym in probably over a year. I'm lifting in my basement and running around the farm I live on. To me, time in the "gym" is time at home. I'll go out and pull the sled and play with my battle ropes before I head to church on Sunday morning if I get the itch. If I had to drive to the gym and get on a treadmill or something it would be a lot less convenient and I might not train the same way.
I'll be interested to see some more experienced, leaner guys thoughts.