I've tried both making contact sheets and going straight from the negative, and have come to the conclusion that contact sheets are very helpful if you want to keep track of processed film, especially while editing to for example, put together negatives to be printed on fibre base paper. If I were working more with large format negatives to be enlarged (e.g. 4x5s), I can imagine I might go straight to an 11x14" fibre print to work on both editing and printing at the same time.

Tom