I have been working with small brushless motors, but I have been frustrated by the RC type ESC's. Although these RC type ESC's are cheap, efficient and reliable I find the documentation dreadful and the programming a nightmare. Forward/reverse RC type ESC's are also relatively scarce.
I have found this low power 3 phase inverter controller quite stable, robust and easy to use;
It has simple direction and speed control. Clearly it is more expensive than RC type ESC's and is rather too large and heavy for a flight ESC but I find it easier to use for stationery applications involving small brushed motors.