Just in terms of neighbors, my favorites would be Morocco (friendly trading partner, doesn't expand aggressively), Songhai (pretty loyal, and not a super expansionist), China (I've never had a game where she's been treacherous, and again, she builds tall and not wide), and America (generally on good terms, and when so, Washington is a very helpful and loyal ally). I ABSOLUTELY hate Siam as a neighbor-- Backstab McGee will be friendly and then for no reason (even when CSS have been left alone), I have a horde of Nerusan Elephants in my backyard. I am also not fond of the Ottomans and Assyria, both of whom are wonderhorders and CS conquerors. They also LOVE to wreck havoc with global politics and set up factions that are ultimately against my interests, but pretend to be friendly (but always refrain from DoFs). They are Near East pains! Finally, I'm also ambivalent about Japan. Like the historically isolationist counterpart, Japan as a neighbor never gives me a lot of trouble, but neither does Japan warm up to me very quickly, either. It isn't until WC, when shared resos add up to some positive diplomatic points do we really bond as friendly neighbor states. At least I don't worry too much that he will backstab me though.