I used the barrel type counters for a while. I recently bought a "kacha-kacha" counter. It's the type you squeeze or press to make the count go up. I got it for the sound. Something about it is very rewarding after completing a row or a round. Now I randomly squeeze the counter to get a moment of bliss... hmm... Pavlov's dog, anyone?
One negative thing about the kacha-kacha's is they have gears on the side that allow you to quickly advance the numbers (say if you wanted to reset to zero). When I toss my counter in a bag sometimes my count gets off after it jostles around with everything else.
The barrels are harder to turn so I don't experience the same problem.
Sometimes I return to the good old pen and paper. Tick marks confuse me (I always forget to cross for groups of 5) so I like to write out the whole number word (one, two, fifty-five etc.) after each row. If I have to do multiple counts (or if I need a little excitement) I'll write out the numbers in a different language.