I agree that full-disc encryption is good, especially if you have sensitive data on your a laptop (you probably do). So, with the new laptop models being plenty fast, I'd say "always".
That said, there are caveats:
- if you forget your password, this means all your data are as good as gone (until you remember the password again).
- (corollary: any encryption solution that has a "recover password" option is likely snake oil, not encryption)
- weak passwords == no protection (your cow-orkers probably won't try to break into your computer, but a stolen laptop's data could be worth some money; plus, pass-phrases are quite strong and easy to remember)
- the full-disk encryption could make sleep mode/hibernation impractical, if not impossible (check the product you plan to use)
- some data may be accessible from additional locations (e.g. your e-mails may be stored on a server, with a copy stored locally in your computer)
- full-disc encryption is not magical pixie dust - it doesn't provide security against other attack vectors, you still need to address those separately (backups, antivirus, firewall, phishing protection, social engineering, rubber hose cryptanalysis)
Note that encryption should not be seen as a way of securing the data forever from anyone - its goal is just to delay an attacker long enough to make the attack uninteresting. With strong encryption, it should take years before the attacker gets to the data by brute force, at which point the data is so old that it's useless. Although the National Security Agency (or similarly powerful entity) can probably crack the encryption much faster (as it can throw enormous amounts of computing power at it), full-disk crypto is still good protection against anyone else cracking it (e.g. your competitors or a random thief).
As a bonus, encryption eliminates casual snooping: if you forget your (powered-off) laptop somewhere, an almost-honest person might decide to browse through your files before returning it to you, just out of curiosity. There's a proverb that says "most locks are made to keep honest people honest"; strong locks will do that, and also keep the really malicious people out for long enough.