If the motor is stock, I like the factory elctronic ignition, Distributor, and brain box. Check the cam gear on the distributor, you may have to switch it, depending on the cam application. It's a great starting point, and very economical for a relativly stock motor.
I had two Mallory units cause me to walk long distances late at night. Have had no problems with Pertronix units. I think most street driven cars would best be served by a Pertronix conversion of a stock distributor. It's a great deal for less than $100.
Crane has a similarly priced conversion that also includes a built in rev limiter. I have not heard any first hand reports yet.
MSD makes awesome products, they are overkill for a street application. But if you are building an expensive motor there is no better protection than an MSD 6AL and MSD distributor to trigger it. I have an MSD 6AL on the green GTE triggered by a stock distributor with Pertronix conversion. If the MSD fouls up I can unplug it and still drive home, the Pertronix will work without it. If the Pertronix fouls up I can install the stock points and condenser that are in the glove box.
AlphaCat is using a stock 351M/400/429/460 Ford Duraspark electronic ignition distributor, but I'm only using it to get the ingition impulse signal that will trigger the MSD-6AL. If you go this route, you do not need the factory Duraspark ignition module. It is really a very simple installation. I haven't decided on a coil yet.
All of my other Cats, along with the wife's 70 Mach either already have (or will have before they're driven) a Pertronix conversion, still using the factory coil.
Like a lot of other folks, I like the msd stuff. Can't deny the mass appeal and function.
I like pertronix for a street car that sees occasional race duty.
I have heard good things about the Holley ignition too. Been seeing more and more cars at the strip and road course with holley parts. I'm getting curious and will probably try a setup with pertronix in a stock distributor and a Holley setup for the Boss 302 I'm building.
The stock ford duraspark does pretty ok too. I used it for the first couple of years I ran my car at the strip and road course. It's simple to install and service anywhere. But when I changed my cleveland to duraspark from points, I had to swap the advance dashpot because it interfered with the a/c bracket and wouldn't time right.
nice thread to start!