I agree with chefbrian. If a cheesecake is not cooked in a water bath, gradient temperatures are a must. A high temperature to start your oven out and then reduced slightly for the first 15 minutes of your baking process then reduced to a low temperature for at least 90 minutes...preferably 2 hours depending on the size and depth of the cheesecake. I have not had a problem with cracking using this cooking technique.
I have found that using spring form pans are much more hassle. Using the removable bottom cake pans are much more useful both in baking and removing the cake from the bottom of the pan when it is ready.