Regardless of the occassion, get him something you're absolutely sure he'll use -- no matter how boring that may seem. I can't stress this enough. A woman feels cared for when a guy extrapolates and gets her something unanticipated based on other things she likes, and the more he spends, the more touched she'll be. Not so for guys. A 10-dollar oil-filter wrench that he uses every time he changes the oil in his car will make him feel loved and supported, while a $400 leather jacket may rot in his closet because it's the wrong shade of brown.
Boys are funny about their toys, no doubt about it, but there are four basic principles at play. If you follow these guidelines, you'll always be able to get your guy the perfect gift:
There is no advantage in surprise.
Your guy already knows the things he wants. The chances of your surprising him with something he didn't know he wanted are virtually nil, so my advice is don't even try. Stick with something you're absolutely, 100 percent sure he'll use. Hint: If you're unsure, ask. It won't diminish his enjoyment -- it will ensure it.
Style is as important as substance.
You could get him exactly the thing he's always wanted, but if it's the wrong style, brand or color, or has some unanticipated embellishment, he won't like it. (Agonizingly, women often pick the one with the unwanted embellishment because they thought it was "nicer.")
The cost is irrelevant.
On a basic level, your man is already working hard to buy the things he wants -- cars, houses, big screen TVs and remote-programmable VCRs -- so you don't need to spend a lot of money to make him feel special. It's the utility of the gift that counts. In fact, if you get him something expensive and he doesn't like it, he'll see little dollar signs with wings flying out the window.
When all is said and done, like it or not, you are the real present.