Go up to Mad Mel’s arena in a Runner. Instead of taking the Runner over the ramp, park it with the front two wheels hanging over the edge of the ramp. Jump out, and skirt the left side of the arena on foot. Eventually, as you approach the back gate it will slam shut and the fight will start. Immediately turn around, running, and skirt the same way you ran in. As you come to your vehicle you can jump up and enter the vehicle. Simply exit the vehicle and you will be on the ramp. Move away from your vehicle so it doesn’t get blown up next to you, use the ramp for cover, and destroy the Bandit Runners and Mad Mel at your leisure. Keep in mind Psychos can still hit you with thrown axes and rockets from Bandit Runners and Mad Mel can still hit you while you are taking potshots at them.
An exploit? Perhaps, but no more than using the ability to open and close doors when fighting Sledge is. However, being on foot you risk getting splatted if you are too slow and rockets from Bandit Runners will hit you for serious damage until you can make it to your vehicle. Obviously Lilith can do this the easiest, but I have successfully done it with Brick every time and I never use his speed glitch. I don’t like the way the fight is “supposed” to be done. Vehicles might as well be made of tissue paper.
For me, a death is a death and quitting to escape FFYL, or when you get stuck in a place you cannot leave without dying, is cheating the spirit of the challenge. I don’t do the T-Bone Junction thing either. It leaves a foul taste in my mouth mainly due to completely breaking the storyline. Also, for similar reasons I simply do all of the DLC in order, others can do as they please. I don’t do gear restrictions.
I have seen some people put in farming restrictions for their runs. About the only restriction I have is enemies cannot be attacking me when I save/quit a farming run, or in general gameplay. If there is a red dot on the compass, then I wait for a bit to see if any attack is coming. If not, then it is safe to save/quit. Other than that, I see no reason to limit farming of any kind, whether it be for gear or experience. If others feel the need to, then more power to them.
Nine-Toes can be easily solved with any Sniper Rifle (Lady Finger if the game has not dropped a Sniper Rifle yet) and jumping up on the rocks on the right side of the arena where the white chest is at the beginning of the fight. There is enough cover to give your shield time to recharge and his skags cannot reach you if you are positioned away from the ledge as their leaping attacks will just hit the wall.
Baron Flynt can be made easier by knowing the area behind the elevator is about as close to safe from enemies as you can get. Also, if you kill all of his minions on the ground, then drop his shield while he is upstairs, then he will come down to fight you in the larger area. You can continually circle around a large pillar, doing damage to him between his reloads of the Boomstick.
With the Destroyer I have seen some people claim the far left side of the arena is safe from his attacks, where a tentacle grips a rock. I only had one experience, ever, where I did not get hit while there, and that is because, for some reason, he quit launching the purple spikes altogether. The purple spikes can still hit Brick. What I do is make use of that general area as it limits his effective attacks to the purple spikes, but stay on the move whenever I see those spikes get in the air.
For Knoxx, Knoxx-Trap, and MINAC I keep an eye on the compass. Once there are multiple red dots I know to shift my attention away from the boss. Other than that, simply using cover works (pillars/crates for Knoxx, a large rock near where the bus gets knocked over for MINAC).
The Circles are serious business. The Skag Circle one never bothered me much, because jumping is seriously useful against them. The Bandit Circle one can range from trivial to very difficult based on what weapons they have. It took me some time to learn what tactics and locations were best for each round of that one, and now my main challenge with that one is just never entering FFYL. The Lance Circle, well, the iron pipes at the rear of the arena on the ride side provide fantastic cover for the vast majority of each wave.
I take Crawmerax head on with Titan Brick. If your gear and tactics are right, then it usually takes some kind of fluke for you to actually die. The ledge where Crawmerax cannot attack you at all is the kind of thing I actually feel is an exploit.
Good luck with your run! I have been getting nostalgic about the challenge, and will be starting what I hope will be my third successful no-death run with Brick on New Year’s Day. The challenge is not very difficult, especially the way I do it, but I always enjoy it.