I like raising a variety of different chickens. It makes things so much more interesting. Right now I have Rhode Island Reds, Wyndottes, Ameraucanas, Golden Sexlinks, Buff Orpingtons, and French Marans. They range in color from a light butter to dark black. Some are multicolored and others solid. And their eggs come in tan, blue, and chocolate colored! I love it!
When choosing breeds, I usually refer to Henderson's Breed Chart . It is easy to read, informative, and extremely helpful. It's help me select layers based on temperment, hardiness in cold weather, and how prolific they are at laying. By clicking on links, you can find out additional information regarding each breed.
Since I was going to have my young girls involved in raising the hens, I wanted it to be a good experience. Therefore, I opted not to raise Leghorns even though they are extremely good layers, because their temperament is... well, let's just say, they aren't typically very nice.
I hope you find this chart as helpful as I have. Raising chickens is easy, but careful selection of breeds will make it much more pleasant.
Some of the girls in their "teenage" stage:
Penny, who is at the top of the pecking order ("Queen of the Roost" you might say):