Actually I do run the car until it barely moves. The drop off is staggeringly fast. the car goes from ~20mph down to nothing in a mater of seconds. The wonders of NiCd. Once it stops moving, I do just turn it off and unplug the pack, though if I let it rest a few minutes the cells would equalize and it would crawl around a little longer.
I would probably never discharge a full pack. I usually give it at least a few minutes of run time in the car. The Orion was what I was thinking when I heard light board. I may check it out. It certainly looks a bit more heat-resistant than the plastic-shelled Venom. Can't even blow a fan on the electronics with that one.
I got interested in this because my packs only took about 15-20mins to peak charge when the charger says it'd take about 45 mins. I do remember the packs taking longer to charge, so I was thinking memory was starting to set in... or maybe they're just breaking in. They run for about as long as they charge in constant use on a stock 540 motor pushing a shaft 4wd car, which is quite a load on a relatively cheap 1500mAh sport pack.