It used to be that I didn't really have a specific nappy answer to the 'what do you recommend'... but I think I've narrowed it down now, and remembering that there are many many options out there, and many variations in baby and parent needs, this is my recommendation depending on what you want from the system.
Option A - Fitted & Cover fulltime until TT
Mostly one-size fitted nappy (a few newborn sized if you like), Snappiable finish (terry loop outer) for maximum adjustment and trim fit, any composition outer with bamboo inner + cover. The one-size fitted nappies work by folding the front (the 'rise' part that goes up to baby's belly button) down to make a smaller nappy... the Snappi finish is great for cord stump airing too as you can Snappi the nappy right down on the rise. Within 'covers' you can have sized covers, or one-size-fits-most (OSFM) covers. My recommendation in covers is Thirsties (nice and soft, with gussets) either sized or multi-fit, or Bummis Superbrite (with gussets). A fitted+cover combination gives you two lines of leg elastic protection against that lovely breastfed/newborn poo. If anything escapes this, then it would have escaped a disposable anyway as they only have one line of leg elastic.Fitted+cover can also be a very trim system and is absolutely fine from birth to TT in all areas that you want your nappy system to perform. This is what we had for Zeke, supplemented with some pockets and all-in-one nappies later.
Option B - Fitted&Cover, then Bumgenius 6mths+
This gives you the poo containment for the NB stage, and then the simplicity of the Bumgenius from 6mths+. the Bumgenius being a one-size AIO (all in one) means no extra covers, and once they have been 'stuffed' (inserts put in) they stack on the change table and use no different to a single-use nappy. The only down side for the Bumgenius would be their leg elastic doesn't seem quite as durable as other brands. However the upside is they dry quick and are a GREAT fit, very trim and reliable in terms of contaiment.
Option C - For a total one-size nappy sytem from Birth
I didn't think this was something there would ever be a nappy for that I would recommend, until I found the Rumparooz. Rumparooz have internal gussets which contain some super breastfed poo (!), great size range from NB right up and again, once stuffed are a piece of cake - stuff and stack and you're ready to go. If poo was going to escape this nappy then it would have done so in a disposable as well. The internal gussets + leg elastic give you two lines of protection against poo-splosions. The newborn inserts are a good size, although you may find if you have a newborn who does large pees rather than little bits here and there, that you need a bamboo isert for extra absorbency. These are easy to whip up with a sewing machine and even the most basic sewer can do so.
Information - cost, eco and the like:
A great place to begin for any questions you have is here at OzClothNappies... The most recent LCA report on cloth vs disposables you can find a summary of here. There's a great cost comparison graph here on cloth vs single use nappies as well. What's in a disposable is an interesting read and if you scroll down there's a comparison between reusable/singleuse on energy/water etc from production to use. There is a picture somewhere of a massive pile of nappies that represents how many disposable nappies one child goes through in a year... On the topic of 'eco-disposables' remember it's what's in the fine print - some 'eco-disposables' will biodegrade within their claimed time in a compost situation... landfill is nowhere near this so the nappy will take much much longer to biodegrade. Some nappies require you remove plastic tabs and the like before composting. Just remember, since every disposable ever made is still in the ground today, every reusable nappy you can use is one less to sit in landfill... so even part time is better than not at all.
Points to note:
I sewed all my newborn and OSFM fitted nappies. Check OzClothNappies and the Nappycino forum for information on making your own. As if cloth didn't save you heaps of money already (see link to graph above), making your own is even more economical. For this reason, I made some newborn sized nappies (So cute!) and plenty of OSFM. Save your bamboo for the inners and use whatever terry loop fabric you can for the outer. Using the Snappi closure means no tabs, velcro, touchtape or snaps and gives you maximum fit and adjustability.
You can also buy secondhand. Nappies in good secondhand condition are well worth looking into. I have bought plenty and often times you can barely tell they have been used so you've saved yourself a third of the price or more.
You can sell your nappies if you change your mind or Bub needs a different type of nappy. Also note that there are new options coming out in nappies all the time, nappying systems and the like so do look around and see what is out there. Maybe if you really like something different or new, try one or two before investing in a whole stash of them.
You may, instead of a one-size nappy, prefer a sized nappy. Upside is a specific fit for that size and usually slightly trimmer than one-size. Downside is changing to the next size when the baby grows out of the current one. This can be offset by selling the outgrown nappies, and remembering that some babies will spend ages in a certain size, while others outgrow sizes very quick.
On terry flats:
We did flats for Brooke and for Jake. Back then there were only PVC pilchers or the Fluffies covers. If I was to do flats now, I would (if I could) go a well recommended bamboo flat - much trimmer + more absorbent than cotton flats, plus a good cover either Thirsties or Bummis Superbrite.
Bottom line is that no matter what the baby, budget, or general situation there is a nappy out there for everone :)