When it comes to composition it really depends on what kind of games you and your gaming-group are looking for, if you are going for theatre specific lists or general ones for example.

My gaming-group is mainly focused on specific theatres which restricts the composition a bit. We also have a tendency to build both sides in the theatre we have chosen to get balanced lists.

But just by looking at the special army rules, try to avoid to take a lot of “easy” dice for your opponent. I personally haven't seen this rule as a big drawback since if you are down 3 dice your pretty much losing anyway.

When it comes to models, I went with Warlord games minis, and I liked them a lot.