In many realistic fluid-dynamical simulations the specification of the boundary conditions, the error sources, and the number of time steps to reach a steady state are important practical considerations. In this paper we study these issues in the case of the lattice-BGK model. The objective is to present a comprehensive overview of some pitfalls and shortcomings of the lattice-BGK method and to introduce some new ideas useful in practical simulations. We begin with an evaluation of the widely used bounce-back boundary condition in staircase geometries by simulating flow in an inclined tube. It is shown that the bounce-back scheme is first-order accurate in space when the location of the non-slip wall is assumed to be at the boundary nodes. Moreover, for a specific inclination angle of 45 degrees, the scheme is found to be second-order accurate when the location of the non-slip velocity is fitted halfway between the last fluid nodes and the first solid nodes. The error as a function of the relaxation parameter is in that case qualitatively similar to that of flat walls. Next, a comparison of simulations of fluid flow by means of pressure boundaries and by means of body force is presented. A good agreement between these two boundary conditions has been found in the creeping-flow regime. For higher Reynolds numbers differences have been found that are probably caused by problems associated with the pressure boundaries. Furthermore, two widely used 3D models, namelyD3Q15andD3Q19, are analysed. It is shown that theD3Q15model may induce artificial checkerboard invariants due to the connectivity of the lattice. Finally, a new iterative method, which significantly reduces the saturation time, is presented and validated on different benchmark problems.