I own an poker supply store and have come to know a bit about poker chips. I basically categorize poker chips into 3 categories. Most of them fall into this somewhere. This excludes ceramics which I know nothing about.
1) ABS Plastic - these are very slick compared to others and are weighted with a metal insert that gives them a ping sound when they hit each other or splash the pot. They also look and feel rather plastic. They tend to be inexpensive even though they often have nice graphics that are not labels but actually imprinted on the chips. Because they are low cost and colorful, they are often nice for tournaments & charity events. One drawback is they tend to fall over when a stack is pulled across a table since they won't stick together. I call these tournament grade chips.
2) Composite Clay - these are less slick, stack better, and sound/feel better. They are still more slick than full or real clay poker chips (as they are often called) like the Paulsons. They usually have colorful graphics printed on a stick on label. They also have a metal insert insert for added weight and tend to have a "ping" sound when the chips strike each other because of it, but don't sound so plastic as the ABS. They usually come in 11.5g, 13.5g and 14g, cost a bit more but are great for home use at a reasonable cost. Some composites are just called clay which really just means they have more clay than what they call composites.
3) Real Clay/Full Clay - Often so-called because of their high clay content and "soft clay" texture. Paulsons are probably the best of these and most closely resemble the chips used in casinos. In fact Paulson makes a lot of chips for casinos so their home versions are really nice. They stack and feel great and have a rougher texture to them. They also sound like actual casino chips with more of a muted thud or thunk sound and without the ping that annoys some people. The Paulsons are lighter since they do not contain a metal insert (same as casino chips). The graphics are actually embedded in the chip in an insert, not a stick on label. The Paulsons are very expensive, but there are some chips that I think are very close in feel and sound like the Trademark Poker 13g "Pro Clay" chips, which do have a metal insert to add weight, but the ping sound is barely noticable. Considering they are about the cost of a good composite, they are a good alternative. They do not have graphics or labels unless you get them customized or hotstamped, so they are not as flashy as all the other chips. I call these casino grade chips due to their authentic sound and feel when compared to actual casino chips.
ABS is a hard-pressed plastic which will probably last forever. Since they have no stick on labels, the graphics are permanent and better for heavy use.
The composites are mixed with plastic so will tend to last but stick on labels probably will lift from the chips somewhat over time and use. Since they do feel and sound better they are a good choice for home use where they won't be exposed to so much wear.
Full clay chips are great but will wear out sooner than the plastics. They can be broken with your bare hands and sometimes just from being dropped. Not to say they are fragile, but they are not as rugged as plastic. But they are the favorites of the pros.
So my recommendation would depend on your budget.
If you don't want to spend much and don't mind the slickness or the plastic feel, go with the ABS or lower cost composites, you will be pleased with the look and durability.
If you want to spend a bit more for a better feel and sound, and they are for home use, get a composite clay (some are just called clay) chip, or the low end full clay chips. They are often very colorful, such as the laser graphics ones which are very impressive. I personally use these but I prefer the ones without labels.
If you want to go with a professional quality chip for an authentic casino look, feel, and sound, go with the full clay chips. The best of these are the Paulson's which are over $1 per chip.
I hope this was helpful