Chisels – Western chisels can be very good, but only if you are willing to pay top dollar for them. I like the feel of Japanese chisels better and would lean that direction. Plus, they have that beautiful steel.
Planes – see Chisels above
Hand saws – okay, this is a plain and simple rout. Western saws: heavy, thick, cumbersome. Japanese “pull saws”: light, effortless, and remarkably accurate.
Marking gauges – Old/cheap style western marking gauges use a sharpened brad to mark the wood and it just kind of crushes the wood. The Japanese gauges use a sharp knife which is much better but can wander with the grain. The newer, nicer western ones use a rolling wheel cutter and would be my first choice.
Sharpening stones – Western-style oil stones / hard Arkansas stones: oily, messy, (I do NOT like oil on my tools), and oil is thick and masks the feel of the cutting action. Don’t even want them in the same zip code as my tools. Japanese water stones: clean, easy to true when needed, and you can develop a very nice feel for the polishing through the thin water. Crucial. Wouldn’t trade my water stones for a king’s ransom.
Hand power tools – Japanese: not so great. American, British, etc: nothing special. Anything else: wonderful as long as they are made in Germany by Festool.
Measuring tools – Made in the US of A: Starrett!
Wood – all over the world- It’s a smorgasbord out there.