I feel about rubs the way that my son feels about welding carts. I asked him why he didn't just buy a cheap cart from Harbor Freight. He said it is a point of pride that welders make their own carts for their welder. (*) I feel the same way about rubs. In fact, I'm a little anal about spice blends. I get my undies in a bunch every time I see a recipe that includes cumin, oregano, cayenne and chili powder since the former are the primary constituents of chili powder. I'm probably borderline irrational about this. (Maybe over the border.
Since I've been smoking, I have always made my own rubs. I'll use stuff like fresh garlic, rosemary, sage and thyme when they're in season along with store bought powdered ingredients. (When I can, I use whole spices and grind them in a repurposed coffee grinder instead of spices that are bought powdered.)
Sometimes I find a recipe that someone has suggested and use it or tweak it. I don't always include salt and/or sugar either.
Nor will I claim that my concoctions are any better than what can be purchased commercially. They probably are not, but they are mine.
Nevertheless, this thread has me wondering about what I might be missing by not trying some of the commercial rubs. Thanks all for the recommendations you have put in this thread. I'm going to purchase some and give them a shot. At the very least I might get some flavor ideas that I can then then incorporate into my own rubs.
(*) Last time I was there, my son still did not have a welding cart.
Not to imply that he's lazy as nothing could be further from the truth. He needed to move for a job promotion a couple years ago and due to the state of the housing market, he kept the house they were living in and bought a repo in the new location that he stripped to the studs and refurbished in spare time after work and on weekends.