Re: Your stick preferences and why.
I don't really have a single specific preference. I have a whole bunch of different sticks that I use depending on the volume required and I often change between songs. If I'm playing a heavier number I tend to use a 5b, but my only problem with 5b sticks is the weight they can throw into your cymbals if your not careful, plus they present a challenge with regards to dynamics. I really do like the vic firth extreme 5a as they do not present the same problems of a 5b, but have more meat to them than the 5a, so they're great live.
Having said all that I don't think that as an all-round stick there is one better than the vic firth 5a, which I always seem to go back to.