My method has slowly evolved over the years. I grew up on a crappy dial up connection out in the country. Our ISP gave us a generated strong password. Our connection would constantly drop and I would have to enter that password in several times a night. I kept that password and slowly morphed it over time. It kept getting stronger and stronger with every evolution. I did this with 2 passwords. One for secure stuff and one for everything else.
Then not too long ago, I discovered rainbow tables. Pre-generated LM password hashes. My passwords were not in the free tables, but they would be in one of the more detailed collections. Then I started doubling my short passwords by typing them twice. Instant 16 char passwords that were easy to remember and type. Sometimes I would mix it up and use 2 of my old 8 char passwords together. I would think password1 then password2 and type them just as fast.
More recently with smartphones and now tablets, my passwords were just a monster to enter in. One password was lnnLllnnlnnLllnn where l = lower, n = number, L = upper. A total pain when you also have to swap from numbers to letter on the key pad. My current passwords are much simpler, very fast and easy to enter, and even longer than before.
One of the passwords that I just cycled out contained 2 swype-able (dictionary) words and a full 10 digit phone number. My short one was 19 character, easy to remember, and super fast to type on my computer and moble device. Entering the password is much more natural. I can swype on my moble and bounce over to the number pad on my desktop. I work in IT constantly get comments of shock from users when they see me enter my long passwords on systems.
I do reuse passwords on sites more often then I would like to admit. I treat my email as the master password. With that, all other accounts can be reset. I have my financial password, my work password, my social password, and then everything else password. That everything else password is used on all accounts that I don't care about or don't impact me financially. The everything else password never gets changed. I will usually take 3 guesses at a password on a site. If its not my current one, previous one, or the everything password. I then request a password reset and set it to the everything password.
I never know what to put for a password hint on the sites that ask.