Before that I liked the Promark Carl Allen Signature sticks. I really loved how they were in 2007/2008, but then they went and made some changes to them that I didn't like so much. Then they went and discontinued them which led to me trying to find a drumstick that resembled the earlier version of the Carl Allen sticks. It took awhile but I eventually found it in the Stanton Moore sticks... They are very similar (about 98% the same) plus I don't get as many warped sticks with Vic Firth.
Recently fell in love with the Vater Sweet Ride's ! I use to sway between the Promark Elvin Jones and the Vater Manhattan 7a's and decided to give the Sweet Ride's a try and BAM ! New favorite stick; they seem perfect to me !
Vic Firth 5A Extreme, longer than regular 5A's. Been my go-to sticks at least for the last 10 years, if not longer. Helps reaching around on a big kit. Could have wished they lasted longer, but haven't found something I liked the feel of as much/better yet. Usually I buy a 12-pack of these once every year or so.
My favorites used to be LA Specials 5A, Hickory Wood tip. They were the flaws from Promark, and you were able to scoop the 12 pair bricks on the cheap. Since they are no longer available, I really like the Goodwood hickory 5As. Occasionally GC will run a sale, and they are inexpensive. I gig about 6-8 shows a months, so I need plenty of spare sticks. Those Goodwood sticks are slightly longer than I would like but they held up under rimshots(on a diecast snare hoop) surprisingly well. Other than that, Promark Oak 5a or 747s were my all time favorites. $10 per pair just doesn't cut it, though.
I practise a lot with low volume cymbals which seem to destroy sticks so its Nova 5A's for the moment...I've got a pair of old heavy sticks, 5A thickness which are just perfect but I don't use much for fear of wearing them out.
All of my current favorite sticks are weighted toward the bottom and .550 or .555 in diameter:
-Vic Firth Keith Carlock signature stick
-ProMark 5A Rebound balance (the .550 version) sticks
-Zildjian John Riley signature concert series sticks
I recently bought the Vic Firth Signature Steve Gadd and Buddy Rich sticks, then the Promark Fire grain classics. All 5As. And I honestly like all of them and a cool idea to harden the wood with burning with the Promark ones (I'm not usually a Promark fan). Makes we want to take a butane torch to some other sticks and try hardening them. Maybe start with a 5B burn it then polish it down to a 5A LOL.
I actually have about 50 different pairs of sticks now. lol It seems the more I progress, the less sticks/equipment/shoes/etc... matters. I do think it's a good idea, if your a session player, to have a few different type sticks with you (large/small/wood/nylon) to get whatever sound someone is searching for. I personally prefer nylon over wood, which I know goes against 99.99% of drummers. I don't care. Anyway, since I starting trying out carbon fiber sticks, I think I prefer them the most on cymbals. Yeah, I know, sacrilege.
p.s. I started off with larger rudiment (corps) type and rock type sticks. Set sticks were just too fast for me. They would get away from me. However, I now prefer set sticks.