I also voted for WB to respect a great man.
Other options for me were Dragon and Zoro, but Dragon didn't participate in an action for a while and Zoro was inpresive, but not as as much as Whitebeard lately and all his presense and fights in a War were epic and of course his final speech and his death. The impact of this character on the story is second only to Roger.
Zoro I have a weakness for him . Plus i like how he always ends up getting lost even though the place he has to reach is right in front of him lol and also i like him 'cause from all the SH's he's the one who trusts and respects Luffy the most . Plus he even gave up his pride to get strong for Luffy's sake. He's my fav