In my experience caving, I've discovered that one hardly needs to place a torch to be able to see, even in the darkest recesses of the cave. Granted, it's harder to see without light, and torches ward away the monsters -- but I've often run out of torches in the middle of a mining expedition only to keep going unhindered, thinking in the back of my mind "this shouldn't be able to work". I remember a caving trip I took where the tour guide turned out the lights at the back of the cave. Pitch black. But Minecraft caves just don't give that same sense of mystery and darkness.
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