I am sure that all the following sentences mean the same and can be used interchangeably:
a) - I prefer having a dog to a cat.
b) - I'd prefer having a dog to a cat.
c) - I prefer to have a dog rather than a cat.
d) - I'd prefer to have a dog rather than a cat.
e) - I’d rather have a dog than a cat.
If you agree with me, then I would really appreciate it if somebody could tell me why #1 and #4 among the examples bellow that have used exactly the same structure, have awkward implications:
1 - I prefer being at home right now to here. ===> (Why does this sentence sound too awkward to the Americans?)
2 - I prefer to be at home right now rather than here.
3 - I’d prefer to be at home right now rather than here.
4 - I’d rather be at home right now than here. ===> (Why does this sentence sound too awkward to an American?)
Added: Perhaps I should think twice about what @FumbleFingers had said in the link bellow: A comparison between the structures "would rather" and "would prefer" Comment #3 (specially about the structure " 'd rather "!)