The trouble is that anything to do with chains is as bad as politics or religion. Like these two there seems to be a lot of faith involved and everyone's experience seems to be different. I've just met a mechanic this morning who claims to have worked on the Tour de France who reckons chains are only good for 500 (that's five hundred) miles and that expensive chains are no better than cheap ones. My own experience inclines me to agree with him. I look on chains as a consumable to be changed sooner rather than later; cleaning, different lube regimes etc. doesn't seem to make much difference. Mind you on the Tour I suppose they toss chains pretty quickly, probably a new one for each stage it's not worth taking the risk of them starting to jump gears or you won't be a mechanic for long, so he may be a bit biased.
So, if a rigorous cleaning and lubrication regimen plan brings you peace and contentment, do it. I'll bumble along my way.
To answer the original query I have found SRAM chains to be just the right length, other brands I've had to remove a link. Be careful shortening chains if it's too short and you accidentally go into the big-big gears (which we all know you're not supposed to do) the chain can lock up solid. I know whereof I speak.