I lunge when I can't ride, and only EVER lunge for mental stimulation and strength, I lunge with a purpose to have my horse working as I would like it to be working under saddle. You can't wear a horse out on the lunge, if you let it tear around bucking and kicking in at you, you're merely hotting it up even more! Unless you lunge continuously to the point where the horse has NO energy left (bit pointless to ride them isn't it?), you're not going to entirely wear it out, particularly if that horse is fit. As well as that, how good can allowing them to tear around at a million miles an hour on a small circle be for their joints/tendons??
I'll put a cold backed horse on the lunge for 5 minutes before I get on, not because I think it will buck me off, but because I like to have it happily relaxed through the back before I get on, so it doesn't feel the need to fight me.
If my horse is quite tense however, I much prefer to just do some ground work with it. You don't have a huge degree of control on the lunge if the horse is not in a good frame of mind, so the close you are to the horse, the more control you're going to have. I'll just go back to total basics where the horse has to pay attention, so backing up, walking forward, backing up, walking forward until it relaxes, then ask for yielding of the shoulders and quarters both directions. THEN I'll get on.
I would much rather work the horse in hand to calm it down and get it thinking, than run it around mindlessly to 'wear it out'