My favorite crochet stitch is the single crochet. It wasn't the first one I was taught. My older sister taught me how to chain and make a double crochet before I ever made a single crochet. I figured out the single crochet with a lot of practice and one of those ancient "How to" books from Coats and Clarks. The single crochet stitch doesn't get that much attention. Generally the "fancier stitches" (shells, bobbles) are made from double crochet. I will agree with anyone if they say double crochet (or half double or treble) works up quicker and is very nice. All those stitches are great in their particular place and I do use those stitches frequently. but I like to create toys. That's why the single crochet stitch works so well for me.
My current interest is amigurumi patterns. Amigurumi is a Japanese crochet style. My sons, who took Japanese, say it very roughly translates in to "cute cute". I have to take their word for it. But I love the slightly oversize heads and the bright colors of these patterns. There are several websites for the patterns in English (roxycraft.com, gourmetcrochet.com) and they have excellent patterns. You can also purchase pattern bookis in Japanese on Ebay. They do have clear diagrams that illustrate the pattern. You don't have to be able to read Japanese to create the pattern if you can follow the diagrams provided.
My current toy interest has culminated in making 2 bees from a Roxycraft pattern. I didn't make them traditional bee colors and I also change the way the wings were attached. I think Roxycraft's is cuter, but I like mine just fine. I gave them to my two greatnephews (my neice's sons) for Easter and they loved them. I have enclosed my blog address so you can get a look at these bees for yourself. http://crochetinglessons.blogspot.com