1) DO not take a lot of stock in Benchmarks. Most of the better SSDs may show a noticable difference in bench marks, but when it comes down to Day-to-day performance there is not enough diff - Base your buy on reliability and least user problems.
2) Do not have much "love" for the Sanforce based controller SSDs (normally found in 120/240 gig SSDs).
3) Do not buy an SSD that Uses asychronous NAND, unless that is all you can afford. It is still WAY faster than a HDD, but it's performance is closer to SATA II not Sata III.
4) Min Size I recommend is 128 gig. Reason with a 128 gig SSD your True space that you will want to use is closer to 90-95 Gigs.
.. 1) right off the bat you lose about 9 gigs (diff between way manuf count and the way a computer counts) - Down to 119 Gigs.
..2) Untill very recently I've recommended leaving 10-15% UNUSED, this is so Wear leveling, Garbage Collection, and trim can work their magic. I NOW recommend 20-> 25% left unused.
PS, I love Tom's and spend most of my time here, but for SSD info prefer Anandtech.
.. 3) Win 7 OS + Progams WITH space saving tweeks that do not reduce performance noticably - about 35 gigs. This leaves about 55->60 gigs free for Games (not a gamer).
My short list on Recommended Brands/Models:
.. Crucial M4 - As I love my M4's, Take a PASS on M5!
.. Samsung 830/840 (* on 840)
.. Plextor M3/M5.
There are a few that Are to new for me to recommend. The Samsung 840(*) currently falls in that catagory - Like to see at least 6 months on market befor recommending.
If No problems the 840 will be an OUTstanding choice - when the price comes down.
As for the M4, 830, and Plextor M3/M5 - I select which one is CHEAPEST at time of purchase.
Have 3 ea Crucial M4s, 3 ea Samsung 830s, and 2 ea Agility IIIs (Should have followed my own advise as at time of purchase they were very new and Big time problems showed up that took considerable time to correct, and ONE reason that OCZ products will NEVER again grace my purchase order)
The M4 Is one of the More reliable SSD and has a very good History.
As I stated I have 3 of them. They bench a Little below the Samsung 830, But in real life I can not see a difference. If the two are the same price, I would opt for the 830, But if the m4 is Lower I would not hesitate.
On size - Judgement call reread My #4 and evaluated if need larger than 128 gig.
Note Newegg often have the 256 gig version of both on sale for around $170, so If you want a larger and can wait go that route. Gen on Neweggs email list as they send out one/two day sales.