I am a huge fan of punches. Because you can use them over and over again. To me the goal of scrapbooking is to be creative. You can embellish these, ink the edges, or use one or multiple punches on a layout.
You really can't miss with the Paper Shapers punches. They are relatively hand-friendly, and cut easily without causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Plus, I really like that these punches leave nice clean edges.