I use: Continental TopContact - Bombproof tire. I take them off-road occasionally and have never had a flat in 2.5 years.
My wife uses: Panasonic Panaracer Tserv PT. Pretty bombproof as well, my wife stays on paved roads, and has also never had a flat in that same span of time.
I use 25c for commuting daily. 40c is pretty thick; if you find a better deal on something in 32c or even 28c or 25c I think you'd be just fine. That's a huge difference from 40c, but you'll find around here that many people commute on such tire widths as common practice.
For rims: Honestly, as long as you're not going super cheap, or racer boi spoke count, it's hard to go wrong with any popular rim for commuting. Kinlin makes some excellent value rims, you might look into the xr270 or xr300. I'm looking to build a set of Kinlins myself with some NOS 105 hubs and TopContacts for rubber.
Last edited by jfowler85; 04-18-14 at 10:57 PM.