I have been finding that when using a wider angle or shooting landscape photography, I need to keep the exposure right on because if I push the exposure compensation up, then the image is too washed out.
Pushing it up on a macro or closer image seems to work really well. The image is not as dark, and more of the details are visible. I believe it also cuts down on the noise that is produced when there are a lot of darker tones. I have noticed though, that the background tends to be over exposed on these images.
I have also been paying attention to the histogram of the image and how it changes on these bracketed exposures. Sometimes it is really tough to keep those hills and valleys from going to extremes or shifting too far to one side.
It is a good feeling when an image is captured right on - technically as well as composition wise. Sometimes you only get one image out of every hundred that is worth keeping - but that is the beauty of using a digital camera - no extra money spent on wasted film and photo processing labs.