When I started my current playthrough of Fallout 3 [GOTY!!], I went in saying, in my head, that I wanted a good female with a diplomatic approach. Enter Dawn Omega. In the Vault and in my first days in Megaton, that's how I played. Of course, there is no diplomacy to be had with MANY NPCs/Enemies in the Capital Wasteland [and surrounding areas].
Dawn chose two-handed small gun weaponry for most hostile engagements. Dawn would only kill in self-defense. Early on, ammo is a bit scarce, so she also decided to focus on highly efficient headshots.
It wasn't long before Dawn fell in love with the scoped magnum. Ammo was scarce and expensive, so I tried making sure 6 bullets meant 6 dead bodies. She noticed crouching helped accuracy, especially when firing manually. Of course, it also tells status [Hidden vs. Detected/Caution/Danger/DANGER!!] and seems to increase perception.
Dawn WAS quite the XP whore [usually well-rested], so she picked every lock and hacked every terminal she could, even if it meant bad karma. She is also a kleptomaniac and a classic pack-rat. After getting good at Light-stepping and Silent Running, the little cat burglar [with a heart of gold] discovered the joy of sneak attack critical hits. She met a ghoul named Crowley who wanted a bullet in Alistair Tenpenny's head, among others. She accepted the contract, with no qualms about putting down the uber evil Mr. Tenpenny, who had tried, through the mysterious Mr. Burke, to hire her to detonate [stop worrying and love] the bomb in the center of Megaton.
She knew she'd have no trouble getting access to Tenpenny Tower, what with all the love letters from Burke. She suited up in her best Dirty Business Suit and Shady hat she could find, silenced 10mm, and headed for Tenpenny Tower. After a little talk with Security Chief Gustavo [a mean jerk], and putrid Roy Philips, she had a first meeting with Tenpenny. She wanted to see Tenpenny for herself and confirm that he truly was an evil bastard who deserved to die. She also knew better than to just go in with guns a-blazing.
Now, she had this other task with the Ghoul. She really didn't care much for the dirty zombies, but she liked the elitist Tenpenny residents even less. Tenpenny would allow the Ghouls to move in, so long as the Tenpenny VIPs agreed. Susan Lancaster was a complete bitch, a former slaver, and totally against letting in the Ghouls. Dawn had an enslavement bounty and slave collar ready to put on Lancaster, which would solve that problem. But, the Wellingtons were also a problem. Dawn used her cunning sneak abilities to creep into Lancaster's room, Mesmetron and slave collar ready, when she discovered the love letter. She took the letter to Millicent Wellington and Millicent took care of three of five "Ghoul entry" hurdles. A little thieving scared the two store owners away (and got Dawn some XP for the lock-picking, say thankee sai).
Dawn crept back into Tenpenny's room, got his approval, then asked him about Crowley. Tenpenny dismissed her. Stealthily, she got Tenpenny out on his balcony with her silenced 10mm, then tossed his body off the top of Tenpenny Tower. She fully realized the value of sneak attacks.
Fast forward to her Operation Anchorage simulation. Dawn found herself thrown back into a situation with very little ammo. A few bullets, silenced 10mm pistol, and a trench knife, her only tools for the first part of the mission. Now with special US military training [along with the stealth, ninja, paralyzing palm, and such related perks/skills], she can become virtually invisible...especially while crouching in her chinese stealth armor.
Anyhow...the style of play now depends on each situation. The sneaky stuff is fun and satisfying. Melee and unarmed combat are fun/effective, particularly with that Paralyzing palm+Ninja combo. There's something really satisfying about being able to beat a deathclaw to death with your bare hands.