"The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
Ho, ichii, burnt chestnut, or ebony. I like clean, simple woods. Highly figured woods or burls are too gaudy for my taste. I do love marbled or white streaked horn ferrules.
It has to be a Burl or highly figured wood for me.I find ebony to be soooo vanilla.
As for woods, I have simple tastes, still like horn and wood combos the best. Sometimes handles with a bling can be nice, but in most cases, I prefer simpler versions (that has actually changed, the more handles I make, the more I like the simple ones). My favorite woods are koa, thuya, amboyna. Never warmed up to micarta or Dymondwood.
I'm with Stefan on personal wood tastes.
Actually, we have. Musk ox.
I like black plastic.
Natural materials for me... I've never had a problem with the regular black horn and ho wood, but I will have all my knives rehandled at some point with nicely figured redwood Burl (just enough excitement with out being over the top like some of the nicer koas) black ferule (either ebony or horn again) and some type of spacer. The spacers are where I give some lee way I've seen buckle silver, tooth, horn, fossil I love it all. Such a small piece of the handle if it's there at all but it has to be perfect. I don't really see the need for end caps at thins time but I've seem some lovely manmouth tooth ones that cannot be beat!