I used left over 1x3's from an earlier project to create my French cleats. Instead of cutting them in half at a 45 degree angle, I cut the angle on one edge. This gave me a little less than 2 inches of square wood to use to anchor to the wall. I used 2 1/2" wood screws (two per stud) that I also had laying around to anchor them into my studs.
I have not built any cabinets yet, but I did make a bookshelf. It's currently holding about 20 large text books like it was nothing. I think this setup suits me well and plan on filling the blank walls in my garage with the same French cleats.