I've been knitting for about ten years now and I've learned a few things about needles.
One, I prefer wooden. Especially since I have the tendency to leave my knitting on the floor next to my bed - in the winter those metal needles are COLD! So, I prefer wooden or plastic if they're chunky needles.
Two, I like the shorter needles. Around ten inches, I think they are. The fourteen inch needles just seem too long for me. I do have a lot of fourteen inch needles though, all metal!, so I end up using them anyway :) But I do have several pairs of bamboo needles in ten inch length and I love them!
Three, circular needles are easier then straights. You can't lose one of the pair, the project can't come off as easily, and you can straighten your work right on the cable without taking it off the needle so you can see exactly how big something will be - can't do that when it is all scrunched up on a straight!
Four, my favorite needles of all are the Knitpicks Harmonys. I have a set of DPNs for sock knitting from that line. First off, they're only 5 inches long LOVE THAT!! The typical DPN is eight inches - way too long in my opinion. Secondly, they've got this grippy thing going on so my stitches aren't all over the place, but they're also slick and pointy which is great for sock yarn!
Five, plastic needles are easily broken especially the smaller sizes. If it is smaller then a US 8, and plastic, it'll be broken! I had a set of plastic DPNs in a US 4, hmmm, I think I've one or two of them left LOL
What are your favorite needles and why?