I did a surface brine this weekend - rubbing butter all over the bird and then a liberal dusting of salt onto the bird and into the fridge overnight.
I've brined many chickens the traditional way and love them, but think I'll use the surface brine from now on. The results were very moist, but not spongy. The texture of the meat was better and the flavor of the bird came through.
Considering you don't have to go to all the trouble of washing out your cooler, making the brine and tossing in the ice, I think I'll stick with the surface brine from now on.