Having heard that abilities are being rolled again in DnD Next made me think about randomness in character creation. I'll have to say that I've missed random ability generation, and I'm a bit bored of creating exactly the character I want. Rolling the scores (dropping the lowest d6) and then assigning them to abilities you want has something I just like.
But some players still want to create characters they want, and even more players want to do that after they've played with the system for some time. What I think would be optimal system is making random character creation a bit stronger - especially as it will probably give less effective total builds; If you go with the flow, you'll be rewarded, but you can always choose against it if you want. Use rolled ability scores, get a reward - but you can shoose a point buy instead. Use the rolled ability scores without switching their places, get rewarded even more.
But there's always a chance of getting bad rolls, which gives a thought about some additional features; Perhaps ability scores could also be used as a basis for character flaws? A character rolling low should take a related flaw, but in compensation could increase the low ability score two points or take a bonus feat.
Journey continues to... Traveller
When speaking of different character creation methods, you just can't pass Traveller. I've used the system in practice only in a computer game version, and the creation looks quite chaotic with all it's bonus reward systems, so I think it's more or less usable in this day's standards. It doesn't mean the idea is unusable. Creating the character this way gave character history, with it's successes and failures.
Again, such method could be used with options; Go with the flow and be rewarded. Or overrule the option to get the character you want, and get no extra benefits.
World -specific character creation
Such character creation should be tied to events of the game world, which makes the whole character creation process partially world-specific. For example in Babylon 5 Traveller, characters roll what did they do during the Earth-Mimbari war. A narn character could have made good business when selling weapons to Earth, a human might have participated battle of the line. Such details make the character feel to belong to the gaming world much better. And randomized character generation as whole tastes like life - the character has a history with choises that you might not have thought otherwise.
What do you think is optimal character creation process? Player makes all the choses, rolled mostly randomly, or something between that? Or would the optimal way be what I described above, or some other middle-way?