Longtail is deffinitely my favorit since .... when ever in my childhood I learned it.
But I like the variation and sometimes other cast ons are needed.
I just did one "from the middle" - I do not know if that is what you refer to as figure 8. The video is on garnstudio.com, too.
was great for that bonnet I made for my god daughter.
I just also like to collect "knowledge" about different styles and methods.
In school we learned to do the lenght of a short (20cm) needle for each 20 stitches in longtail plus some extra for the tail. But that does not always work, of course. The thicker the yarn is, the less that works (of course). But it is a start.
I rather make the tail too long (and cut some if it gets in the way) than to start over a few times. But I do - start over a lot, I mean