I would be very grateful for some advice on how to decide whether to use an attributive noun or the "of genitive" (periphrastic genitive).
It seems to me that an attributive noun is generally preferable, except when it leads to ambiguity, often due to the combination of several modifiers with mixed dependent relationships.
Additionally, the of-genitive, when used stand-alone, seems to impart a more formal tone, a higher register.
Simple examples (preferred first, less-preferred second):
The department secretary vs. the secretary of the department.
The excellent secretary of the department vs. the excellent department secretary.
Any additional guidelines would be most welcome.