>> Would it not be better to have a startup and shutdown method 
>> for each test case rather than the suite as a whole?
> 
> This is where Nathaniel's terminology gets confusing.

Hit WikiPedia's entry for "test case".

The JUnit (IIRC) trick is a suite inherits a case - the Composite Design Pattern 
in action. Evaluating it provides the Interpreter Pattern.

A Suite is that batch of Cases which share the same Fixtures (not Rails 
"Fixtures"), beginning with setup() and teardown().