I spent 1.5 years on campus (kicked out for 1 semester) and two years off campus. I had actually opted for random selection, but ended up with an assigned roommate who didn't really look like he would get along with me. Another guy I was grouped with in orientation found me on Facebook and expressed basically the same concerns. Living together was a better idea than random. We had it changed before ever moving in without incident, and got along great in spite of coming from nearly opposite backgrounds. I got kicked out of school, and was replaced for one semester by another random guy. I hear that was... interesting. The two of us and two girls we had been a close knit group with (dining hall tables usually have 4 seats... you know) got an apartment, and had a great time living together. Everyone pitched in in their own way, and it wasn't a bad place to live. One girl left for the second year of that, but MY previous replacement filled in for her, and it was all good again. He mostly kept to himself anyhow now that he had a room.
Sorry you had a bad experience. Everyone I knew had an easier time than that both on and off campus. Student Services was more than accommodating with any desired room swaps and had waiting lists for people who just wanted out of where they were. Off campus worked pretty well too, I didn't know that many people who hated where they lived.
Virginia Tech, 08-12 for reference.