With the exception of "pedal forward" designed bikes, which are not designed for touring most any bike used for commuting can also benefit from this technique of aligning handlebars with front axle. Anyone familiar with the ever popular Bridgestone MB-1 from the nineties which included Tom Ritchey's long flat stem and bars are familiar with bike design where the handlebars are not at all aligned with the front axle. That is due to the fact that it was designed as an aggressive trail bike. Later on many folks who began using their mountain bikes which were designed in a similar fashion from that era complained of hand numbness and pain. Older steel hardtail mountain bikes have found a new niche as excellent commuter touring bikes and perhaps serve as the best example of bikes needing slight modifications for achieving better bike posture. Photos below of a '93 Bridgestone MB-1 are indicative of changes made in achieving a more comfortable riding position. In reference to diagram at beginning of this post note how the modified Bridgestone on right compares to "good average touring posture".
In most instances when converting an older steel frame mountain bike for touring and commuting a 90mm length stem with a 20 degree rise has been the stem of choice. This has been determined after experimenting with different adjustable stems of varying lengths. Though I have nothing against some of the higher quality adjustable stems it doesn't make sense to add another item which needs to be routinely checked to ensure it's tight.
For the long haul most folks prefer to ride with road drop bars permitting use of multiple hand positions. With drop bars aligning the stem with the front axle proves to be even more effective in establishing good bike posture for touring. By placing hands on the brake hoods (which is where most folks spend their time while touring) is the position to use when determining length and stem angle height for aligning with front axle.
Photo at left offers an excellent example of aligning drop bars with front axle on a bike that offered up some difficulty in accomplishing the task with a frame that could best be described as long and short and that being the case I guess that's the long and the short of it and a good place to stop.
I could provide examples of several more bike build examples with more information but I feel that the ideas of modifying a bike to achieve a comfortable posture for your commuter touring bike has been well covered. If you're looking for more information relating to this topic such as basic bike nomenclature or bike fit I have provided some links below.
Four Favorite Ergonomic Cork Grips
Handlebar Favorites for Bike Commuter
Bike Basics, Nomenclature and Bike Fit
Ten Characteristics of Mountain Bike for Commuting