In order to perform a molecular dynamics simulation, you need to equilibrate the system before you can get good statistics.
In principle, you can use any starting point, since the simulation should be ergodic; however, this will mean that the equilibration time will be very long.
Placing the molecules on a lattice is a simple way to form the starting point, but it may also be very far from equilibrium: if you want to simulate a mixed liquid, but your molecules don't have uniform shape (e.g. size in one dimension is much bigger in the two other ones), your initial lattice will be quite far from the one you're targeting at equilibrium, which will have an uniform shape.
The idea in PACKMOL is to obtain a randomized starting structure. This will allow for a much faster equilibration, since you can e.g. form the initial structure in a simulation cell that already has a density that is close to the equilibrated one, at the wanted temperature and pressure.
Now, let's assume you have a starting configuration. The next thing to do is to equilibrate it. Like you said, there are many ways to accomplish this. Generally, one runs the initial simulation at high temperature, since this will allow the system to escape any local minima. If the density is already close to correct, the initial equilibration can be run at constant volume. Otherwise, as far as I understand, it is common practice to run the initial equilibration at a large pressure. The idea is again to allow the system to "mix" faster, so that the equilibration takes less CPU time.
What is the right temperature (and pressure)? This probably depends a lot on what you are trying to do. Obviously, there are a few practical issues to keep in mind. You don't want to set the temperature or pressure so high that you need to decrease your time step, since this would beat the purpose of speeding up the equilibration. You also don't want your system to dissociate; however, since molecular MD potentials often don't allow dissociation due to harmonic potentials, this may not be a big issue. The specifics will depend on your system, and what you are trying to accomplish. For instance, if you are simulating a protein in a given a given folding pattern, increasing the temperature and pressure for the protein may be a bad idea. The pressure, in turn, should be high enough so that the system does not evaporate, i.e. that the density does not decrease a lot.
Once you have run the initial equilibration of the system at high temperature and pressure, you can start the production run. However, since the temperature and pressure/volume will change, you should discard the initial part of the simulation from the analysis. Key quantities to look at are the different parts of the energy, density, etc; you should only look at the part of the simulation where these are oscillating around the equilibrated value.