Health and finnage. I do not show, I do not care to show, kudos to those who do but that is just not my thing. However color still plays a card, as I would not breed a royale blue and a red... Because all you would get are red wash, blue wash, blue, red, mixed... Which are too common in my area.
I breed for health, color, and conformation just for now. However after a year of breeding I want to breed for show and start showing my fish. The line I am starting, my marble line I want to refine greatly and show them. Trying to get perfect 50/50 marbling :p
I haven't done a lot of spawns or anything, but honestly, I breed for color. To me, a blue halfmoon with lots of red wash is less attractive then a solid "super blue" halfmoon with not so perfect form. A bettas color is always what attracts me. Part of why I got so into bettas is because they are available in so many amazing colors! That being said, I always aim for the best form possible and I wouldn't breed a horribly finned fish with great color. I aim for as close to show quality as possible even though I won't be showing in the near future. It really is a personal thing what you breed for I think. There isn't really a wrong way of doing it.
I breed mostly for myself. I want at least a couple pairs out of each spawn to keep my lines going, and some spares in case anything happens. I've only just started looking at the possibility of selling some of my fish off this year because I have a lot more fry.
I love fish and always wanted to breed but, never had the time I love african cichlids and bettas. I was introduced to a non-petstore-type, a few months ago, and fell in love with HM and HMPK. So, I wanted to give it a whirl.
I moved to Kansas, from Massachusetts, 10 years ago and found that, fish availability is very limited, in the part that I live in. The same ones are everywhere and there is no variety. I want to be able to introduce people the beauty of wild fish, instead of the stereotype kind they see in fish stores. I guess I got spoiled back home and, did it just for my own enjoyment of the hobby. I missed the different breeds so, started with cichlids in one, and ordered kinds that are not found here. I did the same with bettas. I am not doing it to try and make money, but it would be nice to sell a few, and get back some of what I have spent. As of this moment, I have no interest in showing, either. That could change but, I have a long way to learn first, and only on my second spawn. It's just for absolute love for the breeds I have.
I also breed for myself - not for showing. I usually try to keep my line (color) as pure as possible. Like Matt, I prefer pure solids. But I also breed for form, in which case I often cross breed. But I still try to keep them as solid as possible. . . . except for bycolored dragons