Should I ask for a salary at the top of the range, and if so, how
specific should I be, if not, why not?
I'd be careful of taking salary at the top of the range for a couple of reasons:
1) Justification. Are you sure that you are going to be the rock star in that position that justifies being paid the maximum in that range? There is the potential for them to ask why you think you are worth that much to which you should have an answer.
2) Future growth. By taking the top value right off the bat, in future years at that organization, you may be limited in terms of raises by starting out at the top for the position you'd have. While I will acknowledge that if you do plan on moving into a different role a year or two later this is somewhat moot, there is the potential to understand that by going for the top right off the bat, you may get limited raises for a couple of years or more.
The second point is more about the idea that if someone is going for the top of the range and expects raises on top of that, this could be asking for trouble. Some people would rather have the raises and get more emotional satisfaction from that than having more money at the end of the day while getting paid the same each year. Thus, I'm questioning if the person getting paid $100K for 3 years with no raises will be happier than the person that started at $90K and got a 5% raise each year for the next 2 years.
While some people want to make salary be all about money, there is something to be said for what expectations are coming with that money you are getting.