Allow me to sing the joys of wooden peg tuners:
I'll say first off that they'd be a frustrating choice if you have hand tremors or arthritis to consider. But if not...
I started out with them (Warren May). Yes, you do a lot of back and forth "nope -- too far. Oops, too far the other way," until you get accustomed to how a little change goes a long way in a 1:1 ratio. You get to be an expert in itty-bitty adjustments getting the melody strings together, and yep, if your tapered peg isn't pushed tightly enough into the head, it may spin loose as soon as you let go (I've found Hensley's tuners more forgiving in this respect than May's, which was a pleasant surprise). Again, you learn pretty quickly to compensate and gauge the pressure needed.
But then, once you're used to them, tuning and re-tuning is so easy
. The first time I got an instrument with geared tuners, I was excited to try them out, thinking that it would be easier to get a precise pitch. Well, not necessarily, and I suddenly realized why a lot of folks are reluctant to change tunings very often -- my gosh, it takes forever! You have to crank and crank and crank and CRANK -- what's the usual ratio on geared tuners, 16:1? No wonder people would rather buy a different dulcimer for every mode than re-tune, life is short!
(Well, it is a handy excuse for a new dulcimer, at that. But still.)
With friction pegs, you're at your target note in 1 or 2 cranks, and then you can fiddle with getting the pitch just right while everyone with geared tuners is still grinding away.
Plus, hand-carved wooden pegs are gorgeous.
They're not for everyone, I know, but I love them.