It depends on where you want to plant your laurel, there are so many. We have a hedge of laurel 'cherry laurel' prunus laurocerasus. This is very hardy and can be chopped right down and it won't take long to regrow.
It gives a small white flower followed by berries that look like a black cherry. The birds love them.
As for the best that is anyones choice as we all have our favourites. If I were to choose it would be Mountain Laurel Kaleidoscope it has such pretty pink flowers
here is the link to see http://www.daytonnursery.com/encyclopedia/trees_sh...