In D&D, the greatest error I see with regards to refreshing "daily-use" resources such as 4e’s Daily Powers, and the spell slots of earlier editions is that a long rest is written as a mechanical connection with the period of rest in a narrative. In simplest terms, the rules state that the mechanics depend on narrative, and the narrative defines the mechanics.
Encounters (D&D 4e)
Before I started running the D&D Encounters event, I was having trouble with players that rested as often as the narrative seemed to allow. I was forced to contrive false reasons why they couldn’t have a rest. I started allowing more rested PCs to take on exhaustive combats which lasted longer and longer. Pretty soon, one session became one combat plus some role-play exchanges separated by a brief rest. The following session would represent a long rest. There were certainly weeks with multiple long rests.
The design of D&D Encounters adventures clearly stated that each week was a session separated typically by a brief rest. There were certainly some contrived reasons why PCs couldn’t find a method to rest. In addition, some players would swap PCs during a week and regain access to "daily" resources used by the previous week’s PC. However, overall, the general feel of the adventure shifted extensively as the long rest refresh rate was set not by a mechanical-narrative event, but instead by a purely narrative event—the adventure told players they could now gain the benefits of a long rest.
The entire adventure could alter in design. The week-to-week combats and skill challenges only had to knock off a few healing surges and maybe exhaust a daily power or two and an action point now and then. The overall design shifted from a combat-by-combat race against death to a longer adventure-by-adventure race against failure. In fact, the risk of death was reduced to a degree as the combats were only a speed-bump on the path to success with regards to the PCs’ glory and riches.
Landmark Based Refresh
So, the best tool I found in 4e for the 5-minute work-day problem was to simply stop allowing long rests as a rule. In place of the long rest, each session was unquestionably a brief rest. In addition, after a combat, the group could have one brief rest between the combat encounter and a next combat encounter. This meant if the Cleric didn’t use both Healing Word uses during combat, he could use one during the brief rest, but if he used a Healing Word after a brief rest, it would remain expended until after the next brief rest following the next combat encounter. It also meant that role-play exchanges didn’t allow continuous use of encounter powers.
Later, as a key landmark in the adventure was reached, the group would receive the benefits of a long rest. So, it was meaningful for the group to reach the landmarks in an efficient fashion. I could still contrive narrative reasons, but I held a rule which basically meant the narrative decided when the player resources refreshed—not the players—not the mechanics.
Dragonlance (D&D 3.5)
Our group recently began playing through the Dragonlance campaign. It isn’t probably the most exciting for me, but I’ve noticed the DM runs us through a fairly similar fashion as I started in 4e. We gain the benefits of a long rest to restore daily resources, provide full healing, and other such matters on a hand-wave by the DM. In fact, there is not much going on outside of a few role-play exchanges and combat which the DM isn’t hand-waving. We aren’t doing much resource management anymore.
Decision Based Refresh
Well, this sort of hits on another approach: the DM decides when we get the refresh of resources. Sometimes it happens before a key combat; other times it has been at the time of leveling up. On rare occasion the refresh was set in the midst of some role-play exchanges. He’s just deciding arbitrarily that it is time for the players to have access to the daily resources again.