Hi, I am fairly new to blender/3d modeling, and new to these forums, so forgive me if this question is one answered elsewhere or contains ignorance of some form :).
I am getting fairly comfortable with both sculpting and general mesh creation/manipulation, so I am setting out on my first ambitious modeling project. I am trying to model a character in high detail, with the ultimate intention of full materials, normal maps, textures, and animation. This is not for a game, so, while optimization is nice, fidelity is the priority over low-poly or simplicity. With this in mind, I was wondering what the implications are of using sculpting over building a face by manipulating polygons directly (I am not sure what the technical term is for this). From what I have tried, sculpting gives better subtlety, detail, and so on, whereas the latter wastes fewer polygons but takes a lot of time to make look as good and as detailed. The process of increasing detail also feels very clumsy and tedious. However, there are some obstacles to sculpting that I am concerned about, mainly things like splitting the mouth after finishing, and extending/modeling the inside, so I can do animations that involve an open mouth (or perhaps it is better to model the mouth from the same starting mesh? Not sure if that is a good idea though). Another thing I am concerned with is the fact that it will probably be easiest for me to model the head separately and attach it to a body mesh I have already been working on (without sculpting), and I am concerned that that could be messy. I am also concerned that there may be other impacts from the decision that I have not anticipated.
Is there any advice you experienced artists can give me regarding this decision?
Edit: From watching the excellent topology videos, it seems like a good method is to create the good topography and use it as a base for either adding detail manually or sculpting. I would still like to hear some general experience-bsed perspectives keeping in mind the goal of animation and high fidelity.