I pretty much read comics based on the writer. Obviously, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman are tops. But as far as regular superhero stuff, Kurt Busiek is my favorite, closely followed by Peter David. As far as the big stuff, Astro City and Marvels are Busiek's masterworks. Peter David is known for his Hulk run, and I loved Young Justice. Also, if you haven't read Top 10 by Alan Moore it's fantastic.
A few good series that are lesser known but are awesome: SpyBoy by Peter David, and Untold Tales of Spider-Man by Busiek. Smoke & Mirrors is not a comic book, it's a book of short stories by Neil Gaiman, and it's FANTASTIC. I think I have at least 2 of the stories from that book in comic adaptations. Murder Mysteries is not technically tied to Sandman continuity, but
it's Lucifer's origin.
Ed Brubaker writes a very different style than Busiek, but he is very similar in the way that he can humanize a superhero. It doesn't matter how different from a regular human being Superman is, those guys will make you relate to him in ways you never thought you could.
Basically I told Steve at Third Eye Comics to pull me anything Busiek writes because he's awesome. I keep meaning to get around to reading his Avengers run from the late 90s-early 2000s (I've probably had every issue and sold them 5 times over by now!), but it is supposed to be great. He was also writing a fantastic Iron Man at the time.
Oh, and I'm rambling, but Ty Templeton's run on the Batman Adventures books (Batman Adventures, Batman & Robin Adventures, Gotham Adventures) was fantastic. Every single book was a full story, no multi-parters, and every single one was great. It just kept getting better and better until it got canceled for "The Batman" which sucked ass! I will say it: When Gotham Adventures was coming out, it was the best book coming out at that time. I don't know how you can write a story that is both insanely deep and light-hearted at the same time, but he did it.