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The best thing about managing expenses for Flamesof War is that you are not required to use only Battlefront miniatures so any 15mm scale WWII will do, you just need to base them on the apprpriate sized bases. I still go with Batlefront for Infantry,they have good sculpts and so far have been very sturdy. Peter Pig and Old Glory are among several manufacturers of 15mm WWII. Just do some comparison shopping over the internet.
So far I have only played Germans (a Lehr Panzergrenedier Company) but I have seen and heard good things about many other Army lists: American Armored Infantry is one that always comes to mind, a Light Tank Company full of M5 Stuarts, too many to really mention. With the variety I've seen on tables I get the strong impression that the force building system produces fairly well balanced lists. So go for whatever you might like and be interested in, whether its Cossacks or Paratroops.
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Late War - US 2ID/99ID by about a mile
Mid War - German Foot Panzergrenadiers
Early War - No experience. Sorry , can't help.
As the other guys have said there is no real best army and you will probably find that you do better with one type of force than others, for example, I am good with infantry, ok with tank but just can not get the hang of a mechanised force.
There are some reasonable plastics on the market now, Plastic Soldier Company do big box`s of infantry (can`t remember the price off hand) and box`s of 5 tanks for about £15. They are not as good as the battlefront stuff but are a great way to, at least pad out an army if not build one completely. If you are in the US then Old Glory do good cheap mini`s but postage to the UK makes them about the same price as Battlefront. Peter Pig do some excellent infantry, and being in small bags you can really customise a force.