Everyone does collar chokes, most everyone thinks they are lame. Given that I've gotten maybe one cross collar choke in my life, I agree.
However, here Aesopian details a variety of different chokes that fall into the decidedly non-lame category and I thought I'd add what is one of my highest percentage moves (in the gi):
The baseball choke.
I cream myself thinking about this choke.
This is a link to the video that made me decide to try out this choke.
While a white belt visiting another school I almost put out a brown and a purple belt with this choke neither wanted to tap and both did (sure, they weren't expecting much from a whitebelt but hey it was still pretty sweet). I've gotten it from nearly every position and on almost everyone at my school. I've also hit the lammo no-gi version a time or two. The reason for the success of this choke is that even when people know you're going for it (and at this point everyone knows to watch out for it with me, I still hit it nightly) is that it plays to every single good thing a grappler can do.
Baseball choke from the guard:
The basic grip is one palm up, one palm down gripping with the thumbs and fingers. You know, like a baseball bat.
Like the loop chokes discussed above your hands do not need to be particularly deep on this choke. You're gripping basically at neck width.
Now your thumbs are pointing a particular direction right?
Let your opponent pass your guard on the side they're pointing too.
This is the secret to the chokes success, who doesn't want to pass the guard? I like to ham it up and grunt while they push on the leg and then with exasperation let them push it down. This lets me laugh harder at them when they tap.
Once they've passed roll on your side away from them and pull your arms into your chest. That's it.
This is what the finnish basically looks like:
The choke is incredibly tight and you likely will put someone unconcious with it overtime. Noone ever believes you have it.
To defend this your opponent doesn't have a lot of options. They can try and go back the way they came (they don't but they can). You can keep turning to prevent that or, like in the video, just use standard mouning defense techniques. They also can armbar you if you keep your arms out too far. The choke is usually too quick for that though, I've been armbarred from it once out of probably a hundred successes.
More often people will keep turning around to the top of you (afterall, they passed your guard). Keep following and keep your arms tight and you'll still get the choke. I finished once under a huge guy's north-south.
Since you have really tight control you can also roll the guy when he gets too far above you and finish it from side control.
Other details: your palm up forearm is driving across their neck.