If you want a rodent I vote for a rat. I had one years ago and she was the neatest small pet I have ever owned. My students named her Hairy Houdini and it ended up being a good name since she and her friend escaped (causing a panic at my school and their banishment.
) She would sit on my shoulder when I taught, snuggle on my neck under my long hair when she wanted to rest. She was also very clean compared to many rodents and would wash herself very carefully after being handled by a human.
I would get another rat, but they freak my husband out and he won't allow it!
I have had hamsters. Hamster bites HURT like the dickens. I will never have another one again. I have never had gerbils or guinea pigs.