I want to make sure I learn all the Thu'um, and in order to do that, I need to acquire quite a few dragon souls. Should I put off the main quest as I slay dragons and find hidden draconic words, or is this a non-issue?
Clarification: I know the dragons begin spawning after a set point in the main quest. The main crux of my question is whether they stop spawning after another (later) set point in the main quest. There are infinite dragons during the main quest, but do they stick around forever?
Post main quest dragons still spawn at least for the bounty quests given by stewards. I came across a couple out in the wild but in previously undiscovered locations so no guarantees they will still random spawn.
Edit: Scratch that, just got an unpleasant surprise in riften they still spawn everywhere.
Given that there are 24 shouts each consisting of 3 words, you have to kill a maximum of 72 dragons to obtain all the words. Please note that some quests reward you with a shout, in which way you require to kill less dragons as the words would already be learned/activated for the other shouts. I think it would be something around 48 dragons or so, but it depends on what you were rewarded using the main quest. So, you might want to consider to continue on the main quest...
If you find all the dragon altar places, you can pretty much do an infinite loop of dragon fighting. I like to throw in the giant camps for good measure. A great way to make money and get dragon souls. Also, what do i do with all the extra dragon souls? They should add a repeatable quest to exchange like 20 or so souls for a talent point...
Post main quest, dragons still spawn both randomly and in specific areas. There is no shortage so don't worry.