We tried the tommy tippee cheapy cup with the free-flow spout, but my DD didn't seem to know what to do with it. So I just took the lid off and used it as an open cup. She used to lap at the water with her tongue like a little cat but after a few weeks she got the hang of drinking from it. At 9 months she is great at drinking from any open cup, barely spilling a drop as long as an adult holds it of course!
I have started with Nuby soft spouts for both of mine, dd2 has never done bottles but will drink water from one of the step one type. With dd1 I introduced a straw cup at 8 months so will do the same for dd2 (6 months).
Tommee Tippee. Free flow spouts, don't leak, easy to clean (easier if you only ever give them water). Mix the tops and bottoms up or name them so you can tell which are yours or your child will grab some other child's juice at a toddler group and the game will be up!
You can start removing the tops on occasion when they start drinking fairly normally rather than using the cup as some kind of exciting rattle. Then once DS was confident and mostly didn't spill drink everywhere I moved onto open cups completely, he was nearly 3 by then though.
Also they work pretty well if you have a spout-refusing baby, start off with the lidless open cup, holding it yourself, and once they get used to the idea that there's wet stuff in there you can sneak the spout on and it into their mouth before they realise and then they get the water out as usual and they're happy.
I got these for my twins and removed the valve to make the spout freeflow, and they very quickly moved from the spout to the sipper lid thing (which is a bit like those plastic lids you get with a takeaway coffee)
I am about to start weaning my nearly 6 month old who has been exclusively breast fed up until now. I looked the vast selection of sippy cups yesterday and came away not really knowing what to get. A health visitor told me not to get one with a spout (but I'm not sure how he will manage without getting wet..) and they all seem to have spouts. Some have valves and some don't and some seem to be bottle/cup transition cups - but he's not used to a bottle so I think I would rather go straight to a cup - but which one!!
Also, once I have said cup, I'm not sure what he can have....! Is it just plain water for now - and is tap water ok or does it need to be cooled boiled water?