As others have said, 'favorite inks' vary person to person and situation to situation.
That said, my personal ink journey to winnow down the seemingly endless choices was this:
Choose preferred color hue(s)
Choose preferred properties(water resistant, shading, sheening, fast drying,etc.)
Visit Goulet bottled ink section & swab shop comparison tool and read, read, read reviews
Fill favorite, most used pens and write on your most used paper(s)
It will become more clear as you write, which inks you return to again and again and which inks you'll want full bottles of. This may change as your experience deepens and you understand exactly how and where fountain pens fit into your life.
I'm a practical girl, who doesn't like a lot of clutter. Even with a relatively trained eye as a painter I wasn't sure which ink hues I'd end up using most. I do have about 30 bottles of ink, but have pared my must-haves down to around 6-8. Those are the inks I have more than one bottle of and are constantly inked, in pens I constantly use.
Through reading reviews & trial and error, I realized I like highly saturated, 'punchy' inks that have water resistance & some shading if possible.
This journey is highly personal. Everyone has their own way with their own choices. There is no 'right' way.
The only criteria is enjoyment. That's why it's a hobby.
Edited by eyesa, 26 November 2017 - 14:36.