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When should I use the bulkapi for replicating data? In other words, at what file size should I start to consider bulk?

when is a file "big"?
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  • Sorry for the late response.

    The bulkapi should ONLY be used when you are facing a daily shutdown due to the number of api calls in a day,

    Remember that the bulkapi is asynchronous. It is salesforce's way of saying "If you let me send you the data sometime in the future instead of now, I will charge you fewer api calls." If you are not hitting the limit for api calls, then normally you would not sign up for asynchronous execution.
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