The smoky, salty flavour is the best part of bacon when you're eating it straight up, but it can sometimes overpower the other ingredients in the dish. The community at Chowhound offer this tip when you're cooking with bacon as an ingredient: blanch it for 5-10 minutes.
Some dishes require bacon as an ingredient to add salt and flavour, but that isn't the star of the show (coq au vin or beef bourguignon, for example), and just using less isn't an option because the dish may depend on the added fat. You can compromise and get bacon's delicious flavour, the fat to help cook the dish, and let the other flavours shine through with a quick hot water bath.
The Chowhound user who tried this noted that after five minutes of blanching, a notoriously salty/smoky bacon that he used toned down, but it retained its smoky flavour. After 10 minutes, the saltiness remained, but the smoke was almost gone. Any longer than that, however, and the bacon just fell apart. They also note that you could switch out bacon for salt pork instead. Hit the link below for more tips and the original thread.