Always the Perfect Miniature!
I've always loved high production value scenarios. You know, the ones where there are maps and set pieces and miniatures.
I'm not a painter, so all my work has been in paper miniatures and terrain. You can see some examples here.
But, despite the hundreds of miniatures I have already created, there just never seems to be the right one. Either I haven't had the time to prepare the terrain ahead of time, or the scenario goes in a direction that I wasn't expecting. When that happens, we just go old school with the a mat and some markers, throwing bottle caps and spare dice on the table as markers.
The nice thing about miniatures, besides adding flavor to the game, is that you can easily recognize characters and NPCs, and keep them all straight, without slowing down the game.
I created a set of relatively abstract tokens that can be used for any genre. The tokens are simple 1" round wooden disks with images on them. However, they also are numbered and colored for easy identification during play.