Melee, with a strong cunning down to death blossom and the rest in bloodshed hits very hard but is the most risky and requires a completely different play style that may take some adjustment. I've run thru all 3 playthroughs as a melee Zero and while challenging I never felt underpowered and had a blast.
Don't have much experience with the sniper build so I can't say.
Regardless of what you choose I would strongly recommend maxing out cunning to death blossom and then allocating you remaining points in which ever play style suits you more.
I have these shields: Hide of Terramorphous (lvl 40) Order (lvl 40) Love Thumper (lvl 40) (Forgot what else) I have these weapons: Slag Rapier (lvl 30) Law (lvl 40) Slag Evisc Rubi (lvl 40) (Forgot what else)
They're all usefull I'm just not sure which is best
Now this looks like a job for me, So everybody just follow me, Cause' we need a little controversy, Cause' it feels so EMPTY without ME. PSN : chain1bladex
Law and Order probably offer the best health regen as every strike heals for 100% of damage, this comes at a cost of the time you get you roid damage boosts from your shield.
Love Thumper and Rubi are probably the most used combo, all damage dealt - melee/gun/grenade/nova - heals for 12% and the LT gives you around a 5 minute recharge delay so you have much longer to cause added roid damage and you get an explosive nova as well. This is my favorite but you have to get used to running around with your shield down for an extended period of time. I also keep a raiper equip for added damage and switch between it and the rubi.
The Hide offers the highest roid damage possible but has a quick recharge and takes a lot of micro managing, I don't feel the effort is worth it.
I would suggest trying them all out, run the the Steam Station where you fight the 4 assassins and see which combo feels/works best for you.
cunning to deathblossom and bloodshed down to execute. just soften things up with gunns/grenades and get a rapier for the +200% damage if you use the hide of terra. if you wanna just run up to something and mash r3 use the law/order.