A few years ago, I thought that there was only one way to cast on for my knit project, and one way to cast off. Then I started knitting socks, and found that my usual methods often left the piece too tight to get on my foot! AUUGGHH! What to do, what to do?
My favorite way to cast on is still the long tail cast on, BUT! I hold my two needle tips together and then go to town. I do Magic Loop with one circular needle, so this is easy to do. You will often see recommendations to go up a needle size, but whenever I do this, it's still too tight for me. The two tips together works like a charm, plus you don't need another sized needle! I do this on fingerless gloves as well, and have been doing it for my sweaters too. I am a tight knitter, and it works for me.
My favorite bind-off is Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off. Wow! It comes out nice and stretchy, but firm at the same time. Does that make sense? Try it and see. I recently finished Janine Cras' Quatrefoil Shrug, and did a picot bind-off on that. That is also very stretchy and pretty -- sort of lacy and feminine. Very nice!