My youtube channel has been really active lately, with a grip of Let's Plays and other miscellaneous game commentary, but I owe it all to my Final Fantasy VIII playthrough. Pretty late in blogging it, since I don't do the whole blog thing too often. Check it below and read on. (Vulgar Commentary)
The playthrough is done without leveling characters until pretty much the end of the game, at which point I power level everyone to 100. The reason I avoid leveling other than just for kicks, is because of the leveling system in FFVIII. All the enemies and bosses will level up with you in this game, which means you can actually have just as easy a time at default level. And with tricks to obtain higher level spells (card modding, etc) you can actually have a bigger advantage junctioning said spells to your characters when you're still low-level.
There are several bonus abilities that GF's learn through the course of the game, called bonuses. Once you obtain all the bonuses, you can equip them in your ability slots and receive more attribute points at each level up, which is why there's a specific time to power level to 100. As you could gather from the information I've laid out, power-leveling from the character's base level nets you the most bonus attribute points, so the no-level run is multi-purpose. You're more powerful throughout the game without leveling, and then you become unstoppable when you finally do level up at the end.
Of course your GF's have to obtain AP to make all this happen, and normally you can't do that without gaining some sort of experience from battles. The loop hole there is the command ability card mod. This is an early-game Quezacotl ability that you should learn at the offset, as you can weaken your enemies to a low percentage of health, and then mod them into cards. This nullifies any experience you'd receive from that opponent, but you get all the AP (and a bunch of cards for playing/modding).
I don't want to spill any more beans on this Let's Play, so just check out the playlist above if you so desire. I love challenging myself with this sort of thing on RPGs I'm familiar with.