Hasn't anybody ever tried any "non-standard" pickup configs? It seems everyone's hung up on about four different pickup arrangements:
Not that there's anything wrong with these... they get the job done. But i suspect that most people don't stray from these much mainly because they're what most guitars come with, and not everybody likes to carve up their guitars to experiment.
I'd encourage people to play more with pickup positioning and switching options as well as simply changing brand and/or pickup model. You'd be surprised at what you might find.
One of my guitars has humbuckers in the bridge and middle positions (like the old Kramer Nightswan) and i'd add a single coil to the neck position if wanted to cut another hole in this guitar and change the switching arrangement. (ESP's Stephen Carpenter signature model has a H-H-S config like this.)
Each of the humbuckers on my guitar has a series-split-parallel mini-switch on it. I've got a ****ty Jackson humbucker in the bridge (which seems to have died... no great loss... never really used it) and a Duncan JB model in the middle position. I'm thinking of replacing the Jackson with a Duncan Screamin' Demon.
I can tell you that the JB in the middle position with a series-split-parallel switch sounds absolutely unbelievable, and combined with the tone control, can get a TON of different sounds, all of which sound great.
My theory is that if you take a pickup like the JB that's optimized for the bridge position, and move it away from the bridge, you get a much richer, harmonically complex sound. The string excursion is greater there, so you also get more volume.
Try it! You might like it!