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.
Borealis Yampa, Ground Up Designs Ti Cross bike, Xtracycle, GT mod trials bike, pixie race machine
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
How much do you want to spend?
How heavy are you?
Smooth pavement or lots of pot holes?
All good questions, along with do you only use this bike for commuting, do you also like to go out for more sporty rides on the weekend and want something a little lighter or is the only thing you care about durability and not at all about weight.
If all out durability is your goal, Velocity makes a few great rims like their Dyad, NoBS, and the Atlas. If you want to go a little cheaper the Sun CR-18 is very tough although not super consistent in the roundness department (some notice it but most do not).
If you want something a little lighter and quicker I really like the A23 from Velocity assuming you are not extremely heavy or have some very nasty roads.
Remember, with the best parts out there you can still have a sub par set of wheels if the build is not good so make sure to find a good builder or if doing it yourself make sure to focus on even and sufficient tension as well as making sure to stress relieve the wheel thoroughly.