Asking for 'anecdotal information' on how to brake is like opening Pandora's Box - a myriad of advice, testimonials and techniques - many of which could get you into trouble. The fact that you yourself hint at having sub-divided thoughts of braking into "routine vs. aggressive" is already a passive 'cry for help.'
You mention a lapse of 3 decades since last riding, and the desire to reacquaint yourself with the basic skills set for safe motorcycle operation - principles of physics (i.e. traction patches, weight transfer, etc.) that never change as long as what you straddle is a single-tracked vehicle with two wheels and a handlebar.
Good for you!!
I could review proper braking here and now, but will gladly defer to the professionals that will soon teach you.
Take the course, challenge your instructors to defend the logic of what they propose, and go out and get some real time on your new RT in 2013.
Dang I typed all that before I read this.
+1 on what he said.
Only thing I would add would be to understand how your braking system works so that you can challenge appropriately.
Lynn 2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have) 2002 BMW R1150RT 2008 Kawasaki Versys