Most players will build their first base in the meadows. It's kinda obvious, it's a good biome to have a base in from the start to the end game and when you're starting you don't really have another option. By the time you can easily survive in other biomes the first base is probably too big and it's too much of a hassle to rebuild so for most people their initial meadows base is their main base throughout.
Then, what most people will do, is venture out into the world for resources that they will have to ship back to the main base for processing. Some may build smaller bases in other biomes, mainly for setting up portals in them and also maybe getting the rested buff. However even with just the portal you can quickly hop back to your base and swap out your gear, get the rested buff, get more food, basically do anything you want other than transporting ore. Very few people go through the trouble of setting up fully upgraded workbenches and smelters in their other bases because it takes more time than shipping them back to the main base.
However I was thinking that in the long run the initial time and resource cost of setting up more bases (2-3 should do with good placement to cover all biomes, assuming the first is always in meadows and the other two aim to be placed near multiple biome types), would be more efficient than having to ship every single boatload back to the one main base. But we must also consider that as time goes on the need for metals drops significantly so maybe shipping them is still the go to method for getting the bulk of your smelting done.
And all that is on the assumption that you're playing alone, obviously having 3-4 people farming shipping and processing at the same time makes everything much faster and easier.
How do you choose to play? Do you operate out of a single base with portals to other biomes or do you set up shop proper in every new location?