I started basing my minis pre=paint a number of years ago, for whatever reason... can't really recall the exact impetus, actually.
I do know that it makes painting the bases easier and cleaner, for me, anyways.
Thanks for the comments, folks!
'At two minutes to eleven, opposite the South African Brigade, at the eastern-most point reached by the British armies, a German machine-gunner, after firing off a belt without pause, was seen to stand up beside his weapon, take off his helmet, bow, and then slowly walk to the rear.' -John Buchan
I can't help but think that every time something is proven, a little bit of the magic of the world dies.