after some research....
I've narrowed down my choices of wood between Shiro Kashi (Japanese White Oak) and the Impact Grade Hickory. I'll probably go to Kingfisher or Sei Do Kai, because I know I'll go to Bujin when the time comes for me to purchase hakama. Thanks for all your input, guys and girls!
(go ahead and keep posting your ideas, I can use 'em!)