Can you show us an example of what you're seeing?
Controlled studio lighting shooting environments act more like working in a copy stand setup where edit one image once, copy and apply to the rest and you're pretty much done.
Well, an excellent example (but just one of many posted here recently) would be this:http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=74837.0
If you crop the frame off and then look at the histogram it will be immediately obvious that the maximum range isn't even close to being fully used. But it is also immediately clear that halo's are present. So, the image should first be rendered for global contrast to fully utilise the range, then one can opt to do additional local contrast enhancement to emphasise the sky and whatever else.
And in that second step one should watch for the creation of visible halo's, just like you mentioned, and that may involve a back-and-forth process like you mention also, but it is probably most easily seen by looking at a smaller sized version of the file under edit. If the halo's show in the smaller size, then it is most likely unrealistic and/or incorrect and generally unpleasant to look at.
And, yes, images from controlled studio lighting will likely never exhibit this type of problem. Or perhaps under some special circumstances the halo's will be introduced by intent to emphasise depth or achieve a certain look. Then of course, the halo size will be specifically adapted to the subject. (The well known Balkan style HDR portraits come to mind).