Everybody has a favorite. Class, that is. A certain role that they take to like shine on a wooden table. Some people even have multiples, which is all fine and dandy. We don't have to be married to one character class for our entire lives, we can keep a "wife in every port," so to speak.
When I started playing D&D back in early 2003, the choice was a simple one. "What, they have BARDS?" For the longest time, I went by the monicker Erico the Super Bard, after all. And I enjoyed them. Of course, this was back when we were still playing 3rd edition, which meant that I was dropping my Bardic Knowledge Check in every direction. How did I know any better? It was a strange new game and world I was playing in. Anything could have been significant.
Okay, okay. So maybe investigating the drainage grate in the first dungeon we explored for clues was pushing it.
About a year later, I was with the gaming crew at my College, and there was talk of yet another game. I thought about it for a bit. Everyone else was making up Sorceror/Rogues, monks, god knows what else...
So I said, "I think I'll make a cleric."
You'd have to know how sick and wrong this crew was to realize that NOBODY ever plays a Cleric. The DM let out a squeal of glee, and I swear if I'd been sitting next to him, he would have hugged the stuffings out of me. So I cut my teeth on making a cleric, and let me tell you, you get an intimate knowledge of how to make a cleric work early on when you're stripped of all your possessions and have to re-learn your spellbook...specifically, what spells you can cast without a divine focus.
Boy, how it pissed him off when I used Ethereal Jaunt and ran through walls, enemies, and even a dragon to escape the prison and make it out to the others.
And the funny thing is, the cleric I made was the polar opposite of what usually got played. He was, in popular vernacular, a silver-haired, iron-bodied Bishounen, or "Bishie." Not that I'm in to Bishies, but when you're routinely the only guy on the team playing a good character, you tend to make the GOODEST good you can and hope for the best.
So now, in the age of 4th edition, do I has a favorite? Who am I?
Oh, Bards still have a very large soft spot in my heart. I play one in a campaign where I'm part of an elite squadron in a Mercenary army, and he does pretty well for himself...as long as we're not rolling diplomacy checks. It amazes me how he has the highest Diplomacy modifier on the team, and the d20 thinks it can take it easy by rolling 3s and 4s. I'm also the only guy on the team, after a year's worth of player attrition (So yes, there's the potential for a little nudge nudge...), which changed the dynamic a fair deal. Right now, he's going through a crisis of confidence, because his actions have led to a few major upsets that have made life very hard on the team.
And I still play clerics, and if you couldn't tell, I enjoy the stuffings out of wizards, and Sorcerors are okay too. And Paladins. And Battleminds. (Oh, GOD. Battleminds. There's a topic for a post all on their own!)
Truth be told, I play in about 15 different play by post games on the Weave, which gives me the opportunity to "Play the field", as it were with 4th edition. And in the end, it's also allowed me to reach a new understanding in terms of a favorite.
Perhaps I don't have favorite classes, as much as I do favorite CHARACTERS. No matter how awesome the abilities, skillsets, or battlefield alteration any one class is capable of, all those details pale in comparison to what you, the player, bring to the table. It's us, the roleplayers, that fill them with life, that give them personality, foibles, a way of gallivanting across whatever campaign world they play in.
We'll always argue about the merits of one class over another, or who makes the bestest Cleric with Character Optimization, but above all of that is the most important detail:
You get from the game, what you put into the game.
And that's the Iowa perspective.