I'm probably not a GOOD enough knitter to really comment, since I have not been knitting for years and years... but I actually like the way the "wrong" side of the long tail cast-on looks for wide ribbing.
My commercially made sweaters with wide ribs appear to be using an adaptation of the tubular cast-on. Have you ever tried to come up with your own variation for wide ribbing?
In going through some VK mags this evening, I noticed that Meg Swanson discusses a cast-on suitable for varied knits and purls (ribbing) in the Spring/Summer 2005 issue. However, since I haven't tried it myself, I can't tell you what it looks like.