We use merging as a best practice to keep duplicates in control so we don't lose historical data. This renders one record Active and one Inactive. Users sometimes ask the system to NOT use the record that was created first to be the main (resulting in the Active) record. The system should only allow records created by online activities (Event Participations, Posted Forms, Posted Preferences, etc) to associate to ACTIVE existing records. If an Active Contact or Lead does not exist with that email address, then the system should create a new Active Contact or Lead.