I have always changed oil by pulling the plug mainly because it give me the oportunity to get underneath the car and take a good look around for potential problems (fluid leaks, split boots, worn suspension, etc.) It is alot cheaper to fix a potential problem.
My method of oil changes is very similar to Larry Bible's with the only difference is that I change my oil very warm - not hot. After experiencing hot oil on your hand that proceeds down you arm made me think twice about changing hot oil.
Larry - what do you do to prevent hot oil burns on your hands? For some reason I cannot get use to wearing gloves while working with tools.
Back to the original post I currently use Mobil 1 15W50 and plan on switching to Castrol 5W50 in the winter months since Mobil 1 0W40 is not available at the local retail stores. Mercedes has tested and approved both brands so I do not see a problem switching oil brands.
1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles