Phunnel bowls are nice, i have two and a myriad of standard clay and ceramic bowls and use them all. *the phunnels are nice because you dont get the shisha juice in the stems of the hookah as easily. *great for wetter brands of tobacco like some starbuzz and fantasia for sure.
i reccomend the phunnel bowls from MNH: http://mnhookahs.com/product_info.ph...products_id=91
they also do Jet Glass bowls in different designs on a limited quantity...if you dont want to spend that much the Tangiers ones are just as good, just not as neat looking :-)
as far as hookah goes, i love my Mya Bambino (small round one) but i just got a limited Nour with hand painted vase that is simply amazing...great draw, easy to clean, beautiful looks, great smoke...both are great pieces and smoke well...the only one i have yet to try is a KM which is next on my list...the standard Syrian Hookahs have a 'tighter' draw when smoking, not really my style, but the one i have smokes well other than having to pull more when trying to get smoke out of it.
as far as tobacco, i like mint, melon, and berry flavors...Starbuzz Citrus Mint and WildBerry Mint are nice, Fumari Citrus Mint and Blackberry are great, Fantasia Sweet Red Melon is great, Fusion Sour Apple is great if you dont like the Anise flavored double apple...the list goes on, you can find the favs from my stash here if you're interested: http://firepro84.com/siteweb/nonpb/hookah.htm
for coals, i usually use QL's, the ones from ********** are great, i also use the Belgian ones in the black foil (name escapes me right now).
hope that helps ya out some...he's gonna have a great birthday! does he know what he's getting or is it gonna be a surprise?