There's another factor that hasn't been address and that is the perception of the scene. The viewer expects a certain look from a backlit scene and that usually includes a flattening of the shadows. If the object of the photograph is to be natural looking, then snappy shadow contrast may not be appropriate. Personally, one of my favorate photographic approaches is to play against these kind of conventions.
There are also the considerations of imparting mood. The compression in the low end can impart an old time look or a boudoir look or in color photography a pastel look....
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin