I think it depends on your bees. My bees are very gently, and I have only been stung once this year because I accidentally squished one with my hand while picking up the hive top. I don't wear any gloves, and most of the time wear shorts, a t-shirt, and no veil for short inspections - and I may put on my jacket, which has a hooded veil on it, if I am going to be inspecting all of my brood boxes, but i still wear no gloves and don't smoke. smoking seems to excite the hive more than just going in carefully, and gloves just get in my way. A good alternative to smoking is using cover cloths, I use these ever time I inspect. The bees don't get excited by the smoking, and as long as you are careful and methodical, they won't get too excited. The cloths can be placed on top of the hive if they start to "boil up". and it kind of forces them back down into the hive. Or if you are about to put the hive back together and want to clear the top bars, and sides of the super so that you can set the next super down you can put the cloth on top, let it sit for a minute, pull it off and quickly put the super on. If you are inspecting frames, you can use two cloths, and roll one up and the other out so that only one or two frames are exposed at a time during the inspection as well. This keeps the bees very calm, and doesn't allow too many bees to become airborne, which in my limited experience is when the trouble starts. When lots of bees get in the air its hard to keep tabs on where they are landing or which ones are potentially PO'd at you. I learned about the cloth covers from one of David Eyres videos, and aparently it is used in Europe more than in the US. Here is a picture of the cloths: http://www.beeworks.com/images/Cover_Cloths.JPG
It is made out of vinyl with what feels like a wooden rod sewed into each end of the cloth (like the kind in the bottom of the cheap mini-blinds).