Well you know what they say, guys who love bourbon don't really like scotch, and guys who love scotch don't really like bourbon. So I'm trouble because I love BOTH!
Each has their merits. I prefer scotch to bourbon, and at that I prefer the smoky peaty Islays as well.
Lagavulin 16 year is my absolute favorite. I do like the Laphroig, but as a slightly less expensive substitute for the Lagavulin. It's great in it's own right but for me the Lagavulin gets the edge over everything else I've ever tried. I've been out of it for a while now, too expensive to replace any time I feel like it ya know?
I'm also digging the Oban I picked up recently. Quite nice. Smooth, but still has body and some smoke. It's gotta have smoke, or it just tastes like canadian whisky. Which is also all good and all, but for me again it's all about smoke and peat.
One Islay I've been able to get fairly cheap (~USD$25) is McClelland's. They don't list the age on the bottle, so it's whatever is the minimum for it to be legally scotch. But it is a true single malt, it is made on Islay, and it does have a good peaty smoky flavor to it. And it's not too smooth. I have this issue with scotch that's too smooth for whatever reason. It's also got a salt note to it, the only other scotch I've had that had the same salt air note to it was Highland Park maybe? While it was awesome, it was a hell of a lot more expensive (like $90).
Bourbon - love the Makers Mark like everyone else. Also a huge fan of Eagle Rare, Blanton's, Maple Hill, and my absolute top is Michters. Can't beat it. It's the only bourbon I can drink without ice. My scotch I can't drink with
Clean inside, dirty outside is how like i like 'em!