I used to cowboy camp all the time, but as I got older, the saddle just became too heavy to lug around.
Actually, I've always loved sleeping under the stars, but in the eastern US bugs can take the shine off very quickly. For a long time, I used a bivy sack with as much mesh as possible, and it worked pretty well; I backed it with a tarp in case of rain. The combo was lighter than a tent, and often much easier to set up.
Then came ultralight tents, in particular the MSR Hubba and Hubbless (aka Carbon Reflex 1), which had full mesh inners and were no heavier than my tarp-and-bivy combo. They set up easily, and I always leave the fly off if it's not raining. It's the same as sleeping under the stars while enjoying the breeze and the bug-free space.
Don't know if it's the mesh or pure dumb luck, but haven't had any particular problem with dew. (If it's foggy, or I know the dew will be unusually heavy, I put the fly on but roll the vestibule completely out of the way.)