My favorite character I have ever played in D&D is a Human Paladin named Thomas Solinus. Most people would probably pick a character that they played throughout several campaigns that had gained enough experience points to be knocking on 20th level or somewhere close. Many of these characters would have travelled to other planes and would have faced powerful challenges to make it back home. Of course, that would make sense but I am going against the grain on this post.
Thomas Solinus is a Human Paladin that never made it past 1st level; he is just on hold. I still have his character sheet and I am just waiting to use him again. Thomas is the first human paladin -my favorite race and class - character I played since coming back to the hobby after an almost 6 year absence. I was in the Army from 1992 to 2000. I only gamed twice in the military - both times were with forgettable groups - and had my last real game sometime in about 1990 or so. For the sake of discussion, it was a 10 year absence.
I was back home in Oklahoma when D&D 3E was released. For the introductory price of $20 I was quick to snag up the new books. I read them with great interest and made a few characters, introduced cousin Alex to the game, and we started working on the world of Toldara. I started getting the idea for Thomas around this time. I rolled him up and played him in a game. I played with some old school tendencies and the other players - all newbies - really dug it so it was a fun time.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to game much since 2000; a little here and a little there. I really need to get a group going or do some online stuff or something but I just have not done it. The good news is that I still have Thomas in a folder just waiting to go. Maybe I will get to break him out sometime...