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Distribution Factors for Bridge Structures

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Can anyone recommend a reference describing a detailed methodology for
deriving D.F.s?

I know that many sources talk about the "grillage method," for example, but
always it seems it has been left up to my imagination just what such a model
would entail.

I am trying to decide whether it would be better to derive the D.F.s, or
just do a finite element model of the whole bridge and apply the
(non-standard) loading to it to determine the internal forces for design.

The former would, it seems to me, make things simple once you had your
D.F.s, but unless you have D.F.s you can count on, it might be better to do
the latter, even though it means extensive time modeling (especially
applying all the myriad load patters to the model).

Would be interested in hearing some thoughts on this as well.