When I was still active in doing shows, my customers preferred wood. Out of a 100 pens and pencils, over 90 percent of the sales would be wood. Women tended to pick the lighter colors, and men the darker colored wood. It was the children who preferred the acrylic, but the children were not the buyers, mom and dad were.
I turned some Chittum Burl last year. Man, that was a learning curve almost too steep. That is some crazy wood for sure.
It had so many different grains in it, it made me dizzy trying to keep up with it. I ended up sanding it way more than actually turning it.
I wore out several whole ( 9 X 12" ) sheets of sandpaper, but I finally got it done.
That's one good thing about acrylics. No grain to speak of.
Antler, Wood and a few acrylic.
I sell way more antler pens with a lot of them supplying their own antler. As far as wood goes it sells very well for me and is my favorite medium to turn. That said I also sell firewood and do some chainsaw milling so I have a very large source for wood.
I was all wood the first year and shifted to Acrylic.
Wood is absolutely beautiful...however acrylic has a beauty unlike anything else. And people are fascinated by the appearance, Show them a blank and show the final product....I love the stare.
To answer... mostly acrylic. Aside from beauty of it.... less dust. Finishes faster...no harsh CA fumes when finishing. If I could only turn one...it would be acrylic.
Have not turned an acrylic stopper blank...not sure if I want to. I have not made any acrylic pool cue joint protectors. I intend to use acrylic for ring turning which I'm currently getting started with.
I worked with acrylic for a lifetime (Dental Tech).... Happiness is the final polishing application when the shine lights up. 1Step or Novus or Automotive machine polish.
I sell in the neighborhood of $5000 worth of pens a year. Most of my buyers are women who are buying gifts. While I love turning wood (love seeing the grain pattern emerge) most of my sales are acrylic. Which is probably because of my customer base. I make what sells!