For an "exhibition" grade knife fancy is fine.
But for my "working" knives I prefer "D" ho wood handles. Not only for practicality but mostly for function.
This thread seems to have morphed a bit, but it is a difference between plain handles and burl, I definitely vote burl.
That being said, I am a little confused on the camps here. Personally I prefer a solid burl look, something with character and depth. I have seen a lot of things that might fall in the simple category that I don't like at all, two tones that (to me) clash horribly. Normally it is the non-burl woods that are combined to apparently clash, but I do not find it pleasing to the eye. I am failing at recalling a burl on burl combination, but I agree that would probably be busy.
With the 3 combinations, I normally prefer a simple, cleaner look. A nice wood (probably burl), silver spacer or the like, and a black or simple ferrule that fits the wood.
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