Want more spin and speed, even if you get "surprised" every so often with too much of either or both? Use a Meucci or Predator cue.
Looking for a good beginner's cue and value for your dollar? McDermott, Helmstetter, Quest, Dufferin, Mali, etc. make good stuff and most of their cues are attractive in looks. The adage has held true since Jim Meador put it on the web many years ago, over $175 for a basic cue is too much, under $50 is probably a dangerous price range. And do not buy your cue at a department retailer. Ever.
Rank beginners need a little added weight behind the stroke to get their rhythm and timing going. More weight provides added spin and also straightness of movement. Intermediates and experts need control over speed, not a aid to power. Beginners should use a 20-ounce to 21 oz. cue. More advanced players use near 18 or 19 oz. sticks.
Seeking an eBay bargain? Get a Blue Book of Pool Cues, learn pricing, and get bargains by learning how to identify brands, custom makers, and vintage cues. You can also always send me a note with a pool question.
Looking to wreck your game for the future and avoid purist materials? Use an aluminum or graphite cue, anything non-wood in its basic construction, or a cheap cue from overseas.
Specialty cues such as break cues and jump cues need extra hard tips and shafts. Regular cues can provide added feedback and feel as transmitted by cue flexibility. Excessive hit vibration feels unpleasant and dampens stroke effect also, so too wobbly a cue is never your best pool cue option.