Until recently my needle collection was comprised of straight pair, circular and double pointed metal needles in various sizes. In fact, almost all were in matching red plastic sheaths from the Aero company - good quality at a sensible price. And what more could I want?
Nowadays, you can choose needles of metal, brass-tipped, plastic, hardwood or bamboo. And within knitting circles there seems to be an endless variety of opinions. At the Knit Cafe Mom and I learned to appreciate plastic dpns for socks - lighter and warmer than metal, and slightly more flexible. In my last minute preparations for the Ravelympics, I picked up bamboo circs at the Naked Sheep - and did enjoy the feel of them as I knit the bottom of the bag. And apparently, there are lace projects you don't even want to try without really fine brass-tips.
But for the openwork on the sides of my bag I'm back on my old Aero metal circs. And that's a good thing, because with yarn this thick I'd have snapped bamboo needles many k2tog's ago.