Question: Best World Atlas?

Marc asks, “Which is the best overall general-purpose atlas I can buy? My criteria would include depth, detail and quality of design.”

There are, of course, several options, including the Great, Hammond, National Geographic (Amazon, National Geographic Store), Oxford University Press, Rand McNally and Times (see previous entry) world atlases, as well as their student and concise versions.

I actually don’t own an atlas — I don’t know how that happened — so I’d be interested to hear your recommendations as well.

So, which one do you recommend? Is there another atlas that I’ve missed? Try to be specific: if you like (or dislike) a particular edition, tell us why.