I enjoy knitting socks with nice wool yarn I pick up at the farmer's market. I plan on having a good supply of wooly socks this winter
! For those I usually use size four or size six dpns, depending on the thickness of the yarn.
As for patterns, I do enjoy sockbug's patterns (http://sockbug.blog-city.com/
), though sometimes you need to do a bit of math to resize them for the correct fit.