Lets face it, I really don't want to be spending a lot of time on my trainer if there is any chance that I can get out on the road, and well, ride on the road. Winter time is trainer time, and unless I really want to be riding narrow, country roads in the freezing cold and dark, I am facing a lot of time on the trainer.
My trainer of choice, the Cycleops Fluid 2 trainer. I just scored a new one on ebay for $200 w/free shipping. Good thing, my old one is well used, and starting to show the lack of love.
What do I like about it? It's easy. Of all the trainers, this one requires the least amount of fiddling with to work well. Set it, and forget it. (unless you use it for multiple bikes, in which case you have to tweak it for each bike.) Usually I just put a shoe or a phone book under the front wheel and I'm off to suffer land.
Mine has traveled all over the country, been dropped, thrown into the truck and still performs admirably, even if the wear and tear is showing. It's quiet, solid, and the only trainer crashes I've had have clearly been my fault.
Which trainers don't I like... the Kinetic Pro and that wacko Kinetic Rock and Roller model. Those little locking rings can be a twitchy thing and I trashed a nice wheel as I went toppling over. They also require a level of exactness that I just don't have the patience for when I'm in a hurry.
Cycleops Fluid 2. They're a good thing, and there are great deals on them on ebay. Do something for the economy, go buy one or two!