A friend of mine had a great collection of single malts, and was generous in sharing them. As a result I got to sample many different kinds. When all is said and done, I like the basic single malts about as well as the more exotic, my favorite basics being those from Glenmorangie and Glenfiddich.
Famous Grouse suits me for a blend, and I don't really like too many others (especially JW and Cutty).
Regarding cost -- a bottle of basic single malt provides me (ymmv) with about three times as many servings as a bottle of wine. Thus, a $45 bottle of single malt is roughly comparable to a $15 bottle of wine -- a little expensive, but not prohibitive. I am wondering if anyone else looks at it this way regarding cost . . .