I’ve not had a car yet where the brake lights don’t work with the ignition off. This seems like it could be dangerous. Say you’re stalled at night and your headlight switch popped off in your hand – it’d kind of be nice to have brake lights so no one rearends you.
My current, newer, modern car (Continental) doesn’t have daytime running lights (DRL) at all. My previous car (same as SlickRoenick’s) had DRL, and I’m pretty sure it’s common across the entire GM line (my current car is a product of Ford, and should be a “step up” from a Bonneville [but that’s another story]). But in both cases, the headlights come on automatically when the car thinks it’s dark enough. Works for me and I never have to screw with turning lights on or off. The Bonny’s owner’s manual explained that DRL’ were the high beams operated at a lower voltage. Since the key is visibility, I think this is probably common in most DRL systems.
In in the case of both cars, the automatic headlights off time is programmable via the computer (actually, on the Bonny I think it’s a knob).
Hint: if you have your lights on automatically and need to turn them off, flip on the parking lights manually. It worked on my Bonny and my Continental.