I have come across a chip which is only available in LGA. I wouldn't touch BGA, but what about LGA? How possible is it to design for one with little experience? Are there any gotchas? I'm planning to reflow solder these using a hot plate.
LGA is similar to BGA, but without the solder balls, so you have to apply solder paste to the pads with a stencil. I don't think you will find them any easier to use than BGA.
I've done LGA on a hot plate before, but only with a stencil. I wouldn't try it without a stencil. If this is a one-off, why not try the LSM303 breakout from Sparkfun?
I've done an LGA without a stencil. But that was a small low pad count part (BMA180). I had to tin the pads with flux and solder, then placed the chip on top, then used hot air reflow to solder it.