At the range I always make it a point to have a loaded firearm available. Yeah, yeah, sounds like paranoia but I don't care. My preference is to have the weapon in it's holster where it's readily available. Don't want to be reaching for something thinking "is this loaded, etc. etc." Also, at the range I will tuck the shirt in so that the weapon is easily seen. I know this sounds crazy but I prefer that others at the range know that the gun is about 1/2 second away from the time it's needed to the time it's presented.
As for cleaning at home, yes, I always want something within reach. Has that aways been the case, no. But it's pretty rare for me to clean one and not have a loaded one within easy reach.