This is quite counter-intuitive to what I've read, BTB. Thanks for your contribution.
I've always thought that the most gains are made in the last couple of reps. Therefore it follows (to my mind at least) that maximum exertion in the last reps of each set is optimum...?
EDIT: you say you've NEVER trained to failure? Never ever? I thought it was essential?! Some of the time, at least.