Once again, I would like to precede the good stuff with an explanation and or a warning to the purists. I like lunging. I believe that lunges are a useful technique that should be added to the repertoire of any fighter. Should they always be used? No. But they can be very effective. Many complain that they are too slow to recover from. Once again, my answer is yes and no. If you are in good shape and your legs are strong then, with training, recovering from lunges can be fast. If you do little to no conditioning nor really practice them, then lunges will be very tortoise-like for you. If you want to use them then practice and over time, your speed will increase.
As well, many purists complain that there is no historical evidence that deep lunges were used up to the 1600s. To this I reply, have you ever been in a real fight? You use any possible technique that will give you the upper edge. I am positive that in a life or death situation, people lunged deep in order to bridge the distance between them and their opponent.
As for myself, I use them too much. I also forget to recover from them and try to continue attacking from the lunge position. Sometimes it is successful, sometimes it isn't. I am presently trying to reduce the frequency of lunging although they are surprisingly useful in cut and thrust.
There are two main hand positions when thrusting, pronated (with you nails facing upwards), and supinated (with your nails facing the floor). I use both hand positions
L1. At rest
L2. Pronated Lunge
The pictures above represent my attampt at performing a short lunge. You should notice that my forward knee does not pass my toes. This is intentional since it helps to prevent knee damage, especially for older fencers. Some will complain that my off-hand is improperly placed and that it should trail behind me so as to act as a counter-balance to my extended sword-arm. Personally, I have found no difference in speed but  have noticed that I am better prepared to defend myself with hand parries if my off-hand is forward. Try doing a hand parry with your off-hand starting in a forward position and then with it extended out behind your should. Which one was more successful? As for being period, I believe Fabris promoted a foward leaning stance with the off-hand quite forward.
L2B A Supinated Lunge

The supinated lunge is sometimes less natural for some beginners. Don't worry. The same can be said about pronated lunges. What you need to do is practice both over and over. You must practice lungeing a 1 000 times a day, as one of my mentors quotes from a 16th century master. Well, maybe not a thousand times, 500 seems reasonable.
One of the benifits of the suppinated position is that you can use the same attack approach for bot high, middle and low targets. As can be seen in the picture to the bottom-left, my hand is almost at the same hieght as when I attacked the head. This masks your tintended target and makes it harder to parry.
Lunges 2