Mechanics I've talked to seem to favor either Pennzoil or Valvoline and dislike the other for some reason or another.
That reminds me, I was talking to a friend that works on Japanese cars, presently employed by Honda, but formerly with Toyota and an independent shop.
He said that the 2.4 Camry engine, which powers our xBs, is filled with natural oil at the factory. He also suggested changing the oil at 3,000 miles as the engine has a tendency to "sludge" a bit if the oil is left in for over 5,000 miles. He also recommended Pennzoil and isn't a fan of Valvoline.
(He is also the one that pushed me to look at the xB OVER the Honda Element, saying that the xB, 2nd generation was a much better vehicle.)
My thought: If you use regular oil, use a good reputable one. The engine doesn't "need" synthetic, but if you use one, get a good quality one (like Mobil 1).
It doesn't look like it COMES with synthetic from the factory in Japan.
(Anyone want to argue that it does?)