Eric pointed out to me a while ago that it's easy to spot me in a crowd because I always have on the same black jacket. Spring or summer, winter or fall I have been wearing the exact same jacket for all kinds of weather. I bought the jacket from Costco at an economic price of $40, and I have never looked back.
Actually I have. I have been searching for the ultimate jacket, one that fulfills all of my needs (wants). I'm a believer in layering and last fall, I purchased the ultimate inner vest. It is nearly 100% windproof and that's all it does, protects from wind. It's a little warm, made of fleece and a little spandex in the back for comfort.
As for the jacket, the following is needed:
-hood that can fold into the collar
-stowable (jacket can compact into a stuffsack, possibly a pocket)
-tear-proof (ie, when i run through the bushes, i don't get caught on a branch, or worse, rip it)
These are my requirement and I've yet to find a jacket that does all these things. The closest I've come now is a North Face jacket, called the Amp Hybrid Jacket. It retails for $120. It has everything above except for the stowability.
Patience, young padawan.