Essentially, that is what is on my mind today. Had a great time on Giovanni Gelati's Blog Radio show yesterday with Heath Lowrance. We discussed the Western Genre...if you can find a link, I recommend listening to it. I think we knew what we were talking about when it came to westerns... which begs the question, how much research should one do for a western or in general, historical fiction?
To answer my own question, I feel that if you are going to write a historical piece, you should do extensive research. Like in other writing, what you are shooting for is a sense of place; and with a historical piece, it is doubly important you achieve that goal. So, go to many resources when dealing with historical fiction to get the feel for the time in history your story takes place.