My favorite orchid is the Phragmipedium, they are easy, fast growing and make a huge statement plant. Of the phrags I have owned, I like the QF Leina a’la (Phrag. Conchiferum 'Kay' × Phrag. Incan Treasure) the best. That is a terrific orchid.
First was about 1999, I went to an orchid show, (was dragged) and got an Odbrs. Kevin Bivens. Killed it, but that was my first orchid.
Favorite - Laelia purpurata. One of the best plants I ever flowered in high school was a jungle collected purpurata that was snow white with a rich velvety deep purple lip. Even today I think it would have been an AM contender at the very least. When I went off to college, I gave away my best 12 plants to fellow Houston Orchid Society growers and this was one of them. To this day, few things move me like a really big dramatic purpurata.
First - A no-ID large flowered yellow Cattleya with red lip. I actually have a photo image of this plant in my head. The leaf on the biggest growth had some rippling near its base. It was given to me by a colleague of my father's and one of my greatest friends in the orchid world when I was 9 years old- the late and dearly missed Dr. Jerry Stephens, eminent Dermatologist, AOS Judge and exceptional orchid grower. Cattleyas were his specialty- especially spotted ones. He always said he liked the spotted ones because he was a Dermatologist lol. But he was also very successful with Phal. gigantea- he had several large ones growing sideways on a wall of his greenhouse. Plus he had a Dendrobium species- I forget the name- which had canes over 8 feet tall. It was stunning in bloom but too big to bring to shows. It was overgrown in a huge pot on the floor of the greenhouse and had roots going deep into the gravel below.
Least favorite - In all my years of growing, I have yet to come across an orchid species or quality hybrid that did not hold some fascination for me. But what leaves me cold are anomalous or deformed flowers- often given fancy names like "harlequin" and cloned- or anything that has been dyed or otherwise manipulated. With so many thousands of lovely species and many times more of quality hybrids- why there is such love for things with the added touch of man is beyond me.