I have personally recommended to nearly anyone with whom I discussed Team Foundation Server the value of reading the Branching Guidance whitepaper published on codeplex.com.

Well, I can no longer make that recommendation…because there is a newer guide available – Branching Guidance II!  Find it here: http://www.codeplex.com/TFSBranchingGuideII

Why a 2nd Edition?  Here’s a quote right from the codeplex project page:

Since the first release, we have received lots of feedback and change requests. Most feedback indicated a desire for a more practical approach to branching compared to the first release which is more theoretical. With that in mind, we decided to reduce the conceptual part and focus on branching practices with Team Foundation Server.

I can only agree with that – the theory is nice (and important to understand), but real-world usage is where the rubber hits the road and is where you’ll get the most actual bang for the buck.