I actually prefer a later arrival into Europe. I typically will fly LAX-:LHR-FRA, and arrive FRA in the early evening around 1800 or so. Go out for dinner, a few beers. Full night sleep then good to go the next day.
I would find that much better. The problem with, say, a 6pm departure out of LAX or SFO is that you really only get a half day's work done before leaving for the airport if you are anywhere other than close to the airport due to the road traffic. From Orange County, say, I can only schedule meetings until about 1pm or so, if I definitely want to make it to LAX, hand the rental car back and get to the terminal for 4pm check-in.
To give myself a full days work in CA before heading home (to London), I have taken red-eyes to the East Coast and then day time flights to LHR arriving 7:30-9pm at LHR. This seems to give me more efficient working and less jetlag.
Flown in: A20N,A21N,A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A359,A388,BA11,BU31,(..56 more types..),VC10,WESX