I've been experimenting with this very issue the passed few months.
Yesterday (10-9-09) I bottled a Basic mead with ABV of 6.1%. Mead was brewed on 9-11-09 and settled out very clear and nice.
Flavor was pleasent and very drinkable.
I've been trying different ranges of ABV to find something that's fast to make and easy to drink. I'm finding that 8%-10% is working good for me.
I start by working backwards. I determine my wanted ABV, assume a complete fermentaton with a FG of .996 to 1.00 and work the formula to determine what my SG should be. The formula I use is:
ABV = (SG - FG) * 132.6
When preparing the must I add honey or water to adjust to the wanted SG and go from there.
So far I'm getting close to my wanted ABV