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The choice of redirect should be dependent on the functionality required in accordance with the HTTP/1.1 spec. The 301 is permanent the 302 is temporary.
I have been using 302 redirects successfully for years and it has never been detrimental to my Google search engine ranking. It usually results in improvement esp. for sites that originate at long, obscure URIs.
Similarly, there are instances where the 301 is clearly more beneficial, for example when appending the trailing slash to a directory name. (This, mod_dir does automatically.)