What about plates?
For plates, it's a little easier to sort through all the possibilities because you can first determine what you're comfortable spending. You can spend $100 on a plate, or you can drop $1000.
Factors to consider in a plate: weight, durability, price, manufacturing process, components, user-friendliness (probably more).
There are pluses and minuses to every component from price to quality to strength - you get to pick a maximum of two of those. If you want cheap and decent quality, it won’t last. If you want quality and strong, it’ll be expensive. And so on. Any plate can break, including the strong stuff. Every item has weak stress points in it as a manufacturing artifact. I can tell you with a pretty high degree of certainty where your particular plate will break, if and when that day comes.
Let's talk materials!
Upsides: lighter, low-maintenance, cheap. Good is relative and there is NOTHING wrong with starting with something affordable and reasonable until you know what you like. Then you’ll have more experience to inform your future choices.
Downsides: nylon flexes (even if you can't see it with the naked eye) and that means that eventually, the plate will crack. The molded aluminum trucks they use actually make it heavier than some metal plates. Really. It also means that the material of the plate itself is absorbing some of the forces of your movements, which means the full power of your stride isn't transferring all the way down to the floor. They use cheaper components like the washer/nut instead of the more secure toe stop screw.
Fiberglass-reinforced nylon: now we’re getting somewhere with affordable meeting durable, which is why I like the Reactor Fuse and Bont Prodigy (and bonus, both of those also use toe stop screws!).
Recommended: beginner skates, smaller people, and with a few rare exceptions, parks/etc. Nylon plates I recommend: Sunlites, Lasers, Reactor Fuse, Bont Prodigy.
Upsides: Stronger than nylon, inexpensive.
Downsides: these things are tanks. They can be quite heavy.
Recommended: when someone doesn’t want nylon but doesn’t wanna drop serious cash.
Upsides: ranges from light to lightest plate ever created. Strong and durable.
Downsides: pricey. Every plate has stress points on it and can break which is that much more disappointing when you threw serious money at it.
Recommended: pick a budget you’re comfortable with and find a good plate that can last you decades with care.
Upsides: incredibly strong.
Downsides: lighter than molded aluminum but heavier than extruded.
Recommended: same as extruded aluminum.
Skaters who have a history of breaking all their plates frequently ask me why I can’t beg the plate manufacturers to make titanium plates. Great thought, because titanium is super strong, right? Yes. But it’s also incredibly flexible. So if you had a skate plate made of it, you’d get the tensile strength of aircraft aluminum but just about the flex of nylon which completely defeats the purpose and price point. Steel is another old school material. Super strong, but super heavy.