Thank-you all for your input/links...etc.
Tony - you are correct when you say "The way sensei tells you," but I wanted to investigate a bit on my own before asking.
Ashley - I have always tied it like you (i.e. "I put the center of the belt at my one point...etc") and find it the easiest to align the ends evenly in this fashion.
As the "crossing at the back" seems to be inherent to those who don't care if it crosses or not (I for one have always hated that - feels bulky for karate, and with all the rolling in aikido I don't think it is a good idea).
All - the "end knot" is really the information I was seeking out.
The typical square Karate knot doesn't seem to be a smart idea especially when being thrown/pinned on your stomach regularly as it presses into your abdomen!! I found what is known as a 'butterfly' fold (not a knot) and have tried it out for the past week in class. Not only is it easier on your belly during ground work, but it also doesn't seem to unravel and need tightening/adjusting throughout class!!
I too have never had the issue with crossing at the back. But I am very specific when I put on my gi, and rarely have wardrobe malfunctions of even a minor variety. I'm curious if you're wearing a hakama yet though Diane. I would be willing to try an easier knot in terms of getting pinned, but my hakama is also one of the things I am fussy about, and I am worried that the lack of a solid knot will make it easier for the hakama to get messed up.