I love Capistrano. It has changed my life. But with great power comes great responsibility, and the documentation for Capistrano can be exhausting. Here are some simple configuration settings that I've found useful:
default_run_options[:pty] = true
If you're getting those pesky, "stdin: is not a tty" errors throughout your deployment, try adding the above to the deploy script. Good-bye errors!
set :normalize_asset_timestamps, false
set :copy_exclude, [".git/", "archives/"]
Ever have files in your repo that you don't want to copy in the deploy? Use the above to exclude any number of files / folders from a given deployment.