With any hobby, people are going to have strong opinions about their tools. Baseball players argue about maple vs. ash bats. (Am I the only baseball fan worried about the impact of emerald ash borer on our game?) Gardeners wax eloquently about traditional hoes vs. warren hoes.* Golfers argue about golf clubs.**
Some people only knit with machine washable materials. Some would rather impale themselves on a 14" straight rather than knit with acrylic.
A yarn shop worker once tsk-tsked me because I use dpns to knit socks and she felt circular needles should be used.
I've been knitting for about six years, and that's long enough to develop some preferences. I prefer metal needles over wooden ones. I believe acrylic has a place, esp. in projects for people who can't be trusted to handwash, but I prefer natural fibers. I like small dyers like Blue Moon Fiber Arts and indigodragonfly, but I buy a lot of yarn at Knit Picks because it's more affordable.
I've been reading about Signature needles but haven't convinced myself to splurge on a set. I read kmkat's blog entry this morning about her positive customer service experience with that company. It's making me think a bit more about the real cost of some of my tools--the cost that includes environmental and humanitarian considerations.
I think I'll put my go-to dpn size of Signature needles on my wishlist.
*The correct answer is, of course, both. Buy both hoes.
**I don't know anything at all about golf, so this is really as specific as I can get.