while there are some thumb-rules, it's really about balancing the three factors: shutter-speed, aperture and ISO. You develop your own thresholds for what is appropriate for your photography.
- How much DOF is enough?
- What ISO will you accept before noise becomes prohibitive?
- How fast are your subjects moving and what shutter speeds are enough?
This varies hugely with your personal taste and objectives for your shots. It varies hugely with your equipment as well as the situation you're in. How much light there is to work with, for example.
Completely crisp, detailed, frozen and generously lit images may be "technically perfect" but this style doesn't lend itself to every type of image.
Hence it's hard to develop any firm rules. They are merely tools and dynamics that practice will familiarize you with so you can use them consciously.
With lightning, you may know that they actually start brom the point of contact and then develop up to the sky. Only high-speed specialized cameras can possibly hope to capture a lightning strike in it's intermediate state. In addition, the timing would have to be super-human. So most simply use long shutter-speeds and mid-to-high F-stops and let them flashes come to them.
What camera do you have for your photography?