Hi immi, and sorry it took so long to reply. The difficulty is that there is no single answer to this, as it depends mostly on the existing design of the website.
If the login is available on every page, best not include all the options everywhere - just the login link and an options link to a dedicated login page with all the lost password and other rarely-used options.
My personal preference is to incorporate a login dialog on the page rather than just a link to a login page.
It also depends on how much of the content is viewable without login. Adwords/Adsense has a huge @ss login because there's not much to do if you don't log in. Google Homepage has a small link on top right. I think that's a pretty good general guide although each site is different and user testing helps the most.