Dragonball essentially is a rationalized version of Dragonball Z with 98 percent less yelling and much less filler. It goes into great detail of Goku's relationship with Krillen, and why Yamtcha and Bulma are even relevant to Dragonball Z's plot. (Yamtcha is much more powerful in Dragonball rather than the cannon fodder Dragonball Z makes him out to be)
Case point: Dragonball deals heavily with the actual plot structure of the Dragonballs themselves and Dragonball Z deals heavily with the Saiyans and intergalactic battles.
Even though Dragonball Z is a whole bunch of mindless fun, I'd have to give it to the regular Dragonball. It just has that special character and uniqueness that really tickles that nostalgic part of your emotions. Besides, it's nice when conflicts don't have to be resolved by the destruction of entire planets.
As for favorite animes:
Pretty much it. Anime is getting kinda stupid now, to be honest, with the exception of Death Note.