I predict 45 replies and 63 different opinions
Here's what I do:
For ales I build the starter 4-5 days before brewing and chill 1-2 days.
For lagers, I start 7-10 days before brewing, build the starter up in 1 or 2l steps to the size I want and chill 2-3 days - the lager yeast seems to need more time to settle down.
I am using a stirplate. I usually get the starter down to 70F before pitching. My stirplate is in my basement at 60-75F depending on the season.