While torque specs do definitely still matter with steel and aluminum parts, they are not nearly as sensitive to it as carbon parts are.
We often mount an aluminum stem on a carbon steerer tube, or handlebar. It is the torque spec for the aluminum stem which matters most, but the bar will also have max torque spec, and the parts used must allow the same torque range values, or they may not be used together.
The Park Tool link provided by Daniel R. Hicks is an excellent resource for learning more detailed concepts about torque, as it relates to bicycles, and finding the exact values for a particular part.
Most modern bike parts have the torque printed on the clamping portion of the part as well, somewhere near the bolt/s that the torque is referring to.
Hope that helps.