Re: Your stick preferences and why.
I've had a few favorite sticks over the years.
I've gone from 5A to 7A to 8D to quite a few signature sticks in between those sizes.
It took me a while to figure out that I don't have to work as hard with a fatter stick. Right now, I'm using the VF Peter Erskine Big Band Stick. It has a pretty beefy shaft and a long taper. They have an excellent response; I can actually play with much less effort compared to other sticks I've tried.
My other favorite, my #2 stick is the VF AJ6. Slightly bigger than a 7A; it has a very tiny tip that sounds just beautiful on cymbals. I actually use this stick primarily in jazz but when I need to bring up the volume I switch to the Big Band sticks. Nothing sounds quite like those AJ6's.