So clockwise for me, the only time I went counter-clockwise was when we went in through the International Gateway (thus, our first nation was France, but even then we skipped over to England for lunch.)
On my trip my sole focus was on visiting the World showcase and saving Future World attractions for a later visit. I did not plan what way to go, but as I remember it definately seem much shorter and easier to go to Canada first.
Canada was a nice starting country -- the culture is close to usa (remember people from the country of note are the workers there) and it's neither the best or worst country in the showcase. I prefer to save the best for last and think Mexico with it's ambience and boat ride is best saved fro last. If you start with Mexcio and than Norway second you knock off the 2 countries with the best attractions and you'll be too bored with Japan, Morocoo, United Kingdom later in your tour.
I would rate the 11 country pavillions in the following order:
1. Norway2. Mexico3. American Adventure4. France5. Canada6. Italy7. China8. Morocco9. Japan10. Germany11. United Kingdom
We walk through England and grab a drink in Canada and then to Mexico so we can end at the Rose & Crown for the show.
Interestingly enough, for the Food and Wine Festival, I go towards Canada.
Seriously, though, I always go clockwise; however- I realized after reading your post- that when I enter through International Gateway, I head to France. Maybe it's an ending thing for me. I guess I like to end in Great Britain/Canada...
Seriously though, we start in Mexico b/c our family tradition has us at Akershus for our first meal for each WDW trip so that we can kick off the trip with princesses and Illuminations. When we come back the second time on a trip we still turn towards Mexico so we can make our way around in time to hear Off Kilter in one of their afternoon shows.
If I start out going clockwise, I get to Mexico or Norway, and then I just lose interest in going any further. If I go counterclockwise, I stop at Canada.
It will take something more than a bunch of restaurants and shops, a propaganda film (China), and a roomful of animatronics to get me to take that hike. Until Disney puts some serious attractions on the backside of the lake, I'll spend my time elsewhere.
I'm actually pretty thrilled to be in the minority for going counter clockwise. It means the crowd has always been lighter at that side of the lagoon as my day is coming to a close. Maybe one day I'll go clockwise and see how the other half lives, or more like close to the other two thirds.
On a side note, this is the only park where I do this, any other park I go clockwise. Even in the Magic Kingdom, where I would end up in Adventureland last, my favorite of the lands because of it's exotic locales it emulates. Go figure.