To be honest, if I were to start over buying taps at this point, I would probably buy more form taps than cutting taps. They are so much stronger and work in almost all materials.
For most holes in run of the mill work, not production, I usually run at 1000 rpm and that works well. Avoid going too slow, as this puts more stress on the tap.
If you use a cutting tap, remember to drill deeper than you will tap, as you will need room for chips to build up. Taps that bring to chips up rather than down are good, but can be a weaker tap.
Good taps last long than cheap taps!