I have always been a fan of Fender, Gibson and Martin. They make up the bulk of what I play. They make the sounds I grew up with...and always want to hear. My first real guitar was a 1979 Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul (Norlin era). My second guitar was a 1979 red Fender Stratocaster, that is undeniably the heaviest guitar I have ever played. As a 12 year old, I figured the heavier the guitar the better... I wanted to get my moneys worth. Not the best decision I ever made.
I prefer flat-wound strings on my hollow body electrics because they have a beautiful warm sounds you just don't get with round wounds. On my solid bodies I like D'addario round wound 10-46 gauge strings. I like my action a little on the higher side because I bend my stings a lot. I like the push back that a higher setup gives me. On my Gibson Country Western I use D'addario medium gauge bronze strings... not too light... not too heavy!