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Back in the olden days before the different civs had varying bonuses I usually went with the Greeks. I'm an admirer of classical Greek culture so this was an easy choice for me, I also just like the names of Greek cities and the history they associated with them... Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thermopylae... truly the stuff of legend!
In the more recent versions I'm partial to the Indians since they have the best special unit IMHO. The fast worker is the only special unit that you get to keep throughout the game and they can give you a nice infrastructure boost early game. Also I just really like that Ashoka guy, a rare enlightened ruler in an age of barbarism and savagery.
Civ 5, I like India. Ghandi is considered "meh" by the Civ community but I find he's a great leader for my play style. Great growth bonuses because of start bias, very good UU that replaces Composite Bowman and is much earlier. Good UB as well.