(Chris is traveling today and asked me to post this for him...Enjoy!)
My natural style tends to be third person, although I have written the odd piece in first person and I have been reasonably happy with the outcome. All of these first-person experiments have been short stories. I'm not quite sure I could sustain first person for an entire novel.
Like many writers I tend to be fairly instinctive with tense and grammar, so I can be a little loose with theses, but things generally works out OK for me in the end.
In terms of what I enjoy reading, Its usually third person. Although first person is very personal and can really hook me into a character. Small first person sections can be really effective as breaks, dream sequences, or flashbacks and give an opportunity to really change the flavor of the prose.
I have read a few books that alternate first person and third person - one of Kim Wilkins' books comes to mind - where the main action (i.e. protagonist) was in third person and the 'bad guy' was written in through his first person diary entries. Not sure if this really added too much for me. I think the action would have been more seamless with the same tense throughout, like I was reading two separate books. I'm sure an author can strike the right balance, but it's probably a hard ask.
One tense I find really hard to read is preset tense second person. 'She sits in the sun. Now the seagull pecks on the glass. He squawks in frustration. The two-headed alien grunts in glee.' As you can see from the photo, Godzilla shares my frustration.
I could be opening up a total can of worms here - like offering to give mechanical tips when I don't even open the bonnet of my car - but I am really curious.
What tenses do people prefer to work in? What have people experimented with? What is the weirdest combination you have experimented with?