This should be less of a concern from R15 onwards since the implementation of multi-threaded deformations. However it can’t hurt to develop good scene habits for heavy projects. Deformers are currently slow, and as I mentioned previously, if you are using them only to model with you should collapse them to polygons when possible using the 'Current State To Object' command.
If you are animating with Deformers then I would suggest looking into the Point Cache Tag. This is something I overlooked for a long time but it was invaluable during the MTV Live ‘Acoustic’ spot when animating the complex deformations of the bubbles. By caching the noise and squash behaviour of the bubbles I could retime, loop and alter the intensity of the deformation, but more importantly I could turn off all the deformers and stop my viewport grinding to a halt!