I can’t believe how many people I come across who are really slow to use Worksharing in a project. As a result you end up with projects being produced out of several links and are horrible and very difficult to work with.
I think the lack of confidence form users comes from being so use to working with x-refs in AutoCAD and also being unfamiliar with using shared databases, especially with-in the Architectural field. Using shared database have been used for years now in the I.T. sector and are a very proven technology. For example the Telephone IVR (Interactive Voice Response) you ring into for large companies is a shared database at the back end of it. You, however only ever get to see (hear) the front end of it.
In our office we are doing project of up to 50,000m² with one file for the building and then a separate file for the site. The thing about the file size in Revit is by the time you get to the end of contract documentation, the model itself is only about 1/3 of the file size. The rest of it comes from views / 2d information and element errors (review warnings). So by keeping your view list nice and neat, deleting unnecessary views / walk thoughts, regularly clearing out the warnings, purging, not using large raster images, and doing compressed saves one a week you will keep you file size down.
These days you only have to start to get concerned when the files size it getting well over 160MB. And even then you should be fine.
So the point of the above:
Worksharing and worksets (model break up, ie façade, structure, roof, service elements, furniture fittings and equipment and so on) is an amazing tool for sharing a project and breaking in into more workable parts. Links are also an amazing little tool, but only use it where it is appropriate, i.e. for each separate building and site.
If you do end up with a large file that is giving you problems in being slow or crashing, by dealing properly with the “review warning”, it will cure the problem 90% of the time. For the other 10% it will be a computer or network problem.