In Civ I and II, my favourite strategy was not to build anything in the cities until I had build the Adam Smith wonder. That way, 1) I could plow ever penny into research, with no building maintenance to pay and 2) my cities would always top out at 8 population and I wouldn't have to worry about keeping them happy. Once I built Adam Smith's stock exchange (or whatever it was), I'd build all the buildings that cost $1 to maintain (and therefore made free by the Adam Smith wonder). Eventually those cities would top out at like 12 or something, and I'd start wasting some serious money to expand them further. However, by that time, I'd have such a nice economy that it really wasn't such a big deal to drop cathedrals and stadiums in every city (besides, things like Women's Sufferage and Cure for Cancer sure help a lot). This strategy does not seem to work in Civilizaton CTP. I don't remember what the deal is with Test of Time.

As soon as I had railroads, I'd pave every inch of inhabited land with them.

One final dirty trick: when you have every city of note building caravans to pump shields into the wonder you're building, sometimes you'll end up with extra caravans and no more wonders to build. No prob. Stack them up outside your most productive city and put them to sleep. Nothing quite so much fun as finishing a wonder in one turn on caravans alone.