From US Army FM 3-90, Tactics:
I've always had trouble with Rommel getting the short end of the stick at El Alamein. It's probably because I've never really been fond of Monty, but I also realize that air superiority was a significant factor.1-26. The commander should take the minimum time necessary in planning and preparing to ensure a reasonable chance of success. Reduced coordination at the start of the operation results in less than optimum combat power brought to bear on the enemy, but often allows for increased speed and momentum while possibly achieving surprise. The commander must balance the effects of reduced coordination against the risk that the effects of increased coordination will not match the enemy’s improved posture over time. The more time the commander takes to prepare for the operation, including improving his situational understanding, the more time the enemy has to prepare and move additional units within supporting range or distance. Additionally, it reduces the time his subordinates have to conduct their own planning and preparations. If the enemy can improve his disposition faster than the friendly force can, the delays in execution decrease the commander’s chances of success.
Based on the bolded part above, Montgomery did exactly the right thing. Erwin didn't seem to have as good a grasp of the situation. Montgomery could just about wait forever before he attacked because I suspect he knew how little fuel had been making it across the Med. Rommel, on the other hand, had Commando Supremo's promises and little else.
After all these years of denial, I have to say that Montgomery proved to be the better tactician in this battle at least in that he delayed the start until he had what he felt was overwhelming superiority. Frankly, with this new view of the issue, I think he could have waited longer and still have had at least as good odds of winning. I just can't see Rommel's chances getting better with time.