The reason you should read this Wirecutter post about giving gifts to geeks isn't the list (which is extensive, thoughtful and excellent). It's the anecdote at the beginning. It's like the secret to getting into any supermodels' underwear, but about buying presents. So, sort of the same.
One night, a friend visiting from Rome got really upset and started cursing in Italian, which is the most spectacular romance language for profanity. When I asked him what was wrong he told me other friends were taking him to Italian restaurants, night after night. And although he was too polite to say he wanted something else — which he did, because the pasta was cold and soggy and the bruschetta was covered in all this extra stuff — he was surprised that no one was aware enough to say, "Hey, maybe this guy has had his fill of Italian food since he's from Italy?" So, I took him to the dirtiest, most delicious, secret Chinese food place I know and he loved everything from the fish tanks to the lazy susan to the greasy Chinese food itself. He'd never had anything like it.
But if you want to get specifical, I wouldn't mind that Sony alarm clock. I have a hard time waking up, you see. [The Wirecutter]