Chiming in from central Florida! I think deciding to use wood chips takes different considerations like the weather/humidity where you live, how much time you are willing to wait for planting, your soil content, and the species of trees that get the chop-up, among others that I probably haven't thought about. The wood chips we've gotten have been made up of live oaks, palms, pines, cedar, cherry laurel, and citrus. Depending on the mixture we get, our yard smells awesome for the first week we put the chips down.....and they all decompose pretty nicely.
I decided to use wood chips 3-4 years ago when establishing my food forest and another garden. I sheet mulched with cardboard and then laid 10"-12" of mulch. Because of the humidity and rain here, it didn't take but a couple of weeks for things to start to break down. The worms and other subterranean critters seemed happy and abundant after a few months. For general knowledge, I apply the wood chips once a year-ish as that is all they last before I have bare ground again. I really should be applying them about every 9 months, but I don't think I could get THAT many loads. We have a fairly large and growing permaculture contingency in my area and EVERYONE wants wood chips.
A few things I noticed and/or to maybe keep in mind....
1. I found out dollar weed LOVES wood chips. Yes, it has reduced in quantity (as the other "weeds"), but it will NEVER GO AWAY, which is something that I just have to learn to live with. I've tried several non-toxic solutions to try to rid us of the crap, but none have worked. It just comes up again from the soil underneath. I do have to admit though, it is fun to pull the clumps of dollar weed out of the mulch. (What can I say, I'm easily amused.) It pulls right up and I can physically remove a lot in a short amount of time. The lesson - Keep in mind that there may be plants you don't want in your garden space that think that wood chips are the bees knees and there's not much you can do about it except physically remove them.
2. Even though the worms and whatnot seemed very happy, I didn't notice a lot of happiness in my trees and plants for a couple/three years. The plants that would grow on the moon if you let them grew just fine. Other plants just kind of maintained themselves. Any annual crops I seeded in or transplanted really didn't thrive. This past spring though, things went bonkers! We have a lot of sand in our natural soil in this part of Florida, so it just took a while to get the volume of decomposing material needed for the worms and whatnot to get their mojo really going and the general fertility of the soil to increase. If you have fairly nice soil to begin with, the fertility may not take as long as the soil in my yard did, but I would say try to mentally prepare yourself for not-so-stunning results the first couple of years, just in case. If I remember correctly, in the Back to Eden Gardening videos, Paul said that his property was the result of years and years of dumping wood chips.
3. If you live in an area where things will start to decompose within a day or so, or your pile of wood chips has sat awhile and has started to decompose, WEAR A BREATHING MASK. When we get loads of wood chips they are less than 24 hours old and depending on what day of the week we get them, we will have them distributed in one to three days. The very first load of chips we received was in January when the weather was cool (which is another good tip for you if you live in hot areas) and we mistook the steam coming from the pile as only steam. NOPE! The abundant fungus particles that wafted into our faces gave us what I call "fungus lung". While we didn't get horribly ill, we did have a week or so of major coughing and taking of meds to keep the mucus flowing so we wouldn't get horribly ill.
4. When I direct seed plants in my gardens/food forest now, i just move the chips away and plant the seeds, leaving a crater of chips around where I seeded. Once the seedlings get big enough I'll cover over the soil a bit more with the chips for moisture. After that, I let nature take its course. The chips will fill in the crater naturally with the rain and the sprinklers and critters walking over them.
Bottom line, what I've seen in our yard is enough proof to me that the practice is beneficial and I will continue to put wood chips down.