The most basic choice is in the metal that you choose for your setting. High-karat gold is a very bright yellow, but is very soft. It's easier to bend or warp or scratch, so it is not a great idea for people who work with their hands. Low-karat gold is mixed with elements like copper and zinc, which may cause them to tarnish. Platinum is a very bright white, very soft, and tend to be very hypoallergenic, as its metallurgy doesn't include high mixes of nickel and zinc. There are more industrial options, like stainless steel and tungsten, which tend to have more mellow colors. They polish to a high shine but they can be hard to engrave because of the toughness of the metals. These are great bands for those with working hands.
The next factor for you to take into consideration is the gem you would like to use. Some of the most traditional bands include inset gems. These are often, but not always, a series of smaller karat gems, which makes them more affordable, certainly. Most of them avoid high-set, giant gemstones. These are bands from a simpler time, when most people worked with their hands. Many fine jewelers carry vintage rings garnered from estate sales, so do a little window shopping to see which style you like best.
What ever you do, do not forget to look at the fishing touches to your ring. These are always very simple. Sometimes it's a beveled edge or milling which is very popular, too, especially in bands of softer metals. These simple touches can give a lot of depth and dimension to what could otherwise be a very simple band.
Traditional bands are by no means dying out. In a day and age when so many people move so far away from their families and old homes, it can be very reassuring to reach back into what is perceived as a simpler time and place. The upswing in traditional bands is part of that. There are a lot of ways to add flourish to these clean designs, so don't be afraid to make it your own!