I replaced a 44 pin square SMT IC on an MII machine TBC board about 20 years ago at the TV station. I sweated bullets then when I could see. Now, I have several bad I2C D/A SMTs on display boards that I need to deal with. It figures that the one bad chip on the board is the only surface mount, and that they stuck it right next to taller thru-hole components.
I never gave much thought to my fav. IC's and transistors. I guess probably the 4013, 4017 & 4066 in CMOS. The LM339 edges out the 324 for me. I've sure enjoyed using ULN2003s and 4s for drivers. I use a lot of BS170s where I used to use all those 2s, especially when I want to use the gate circuit to sense something. The LM555 can't be forgotten for timing.
I just tend to breadboard circuits in the lab at work(or at home). Then, I use Generic CADD & Dyna Arts ---> Impulse toner transfer for the board. I've always ordered our copper clad, etchant, and tin plating solution from Newark but I've never done any large volume. Its just nice to layout a board and be able to have it stuffed and tested the same day. I've used Advanced Circuits in Colorado, and their free "PCB Artist", for any volume or double-sided stuff with small traces or lots of vias.
I keep one wire wrapped circuit around for old time's sake. I built it in '89 to interface a Grass Valley editor to a Chyron character generator. It has a UART and lots of 74LSxxs in it. I keep it in the cupboard beside my Commodore 64.