Here's a look at the Joints Guide I'm using, and the Autorig tool interface:
I will always create a template for the joints that I need to place in the character, and save it off as a .ma file. So the tool will import in that scene file when I load in the Autorig guide. In this way, if I need any additional joints for placement, I can just go to that source file, add it in, and any subsequent loading of guides will have that in as well.
The names of the joints/clusters in the Guide are named as such:
SIDE_PART_GUIDE. For eg L_arm_GUIDE, L_leg_GUIDE, etc.
So that when I create the joints in the next step, I just need to script them to inherit the namings of the Guide so everything will be systematic and standardized right from the Guide stage.
The neck and spine are created as curves instead of joints so that I pull around the vertices to shape the curves to fit the body, and later on, create the chain of joints along the curves. More on that in the Joints Creation stage.
If anyone's interested, here's a link to the Guide I'm using:
Next up, Joint Placement.