FORTUNE magazine, via CNNMoney.com, has rated the best first-class options on domestic flights. (There's an assignment I wouldn't have minded working on.) The magazine calls AirTran "the best deal in domestic business class" for its leather seats and 37 inches of seat pitch starting at about $35 more than coach.
For best service overall, FORTUNE says, "[United's] ps service, offered between New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, is the best domestic first class experience. Period."
As for the worst, it cites Northwest's DC-9 planes: "On those old planes, you only get 34 inches of pitch (JetBlue offers the same in coach). Not that the rest of the fleet is much better—the maximum you'll find is likely a measly 36 inches." Ouch.
Meanwhile, our own guest columnist, Matthew Bennett of FirstClassFlyer.com, can fill you in on the best and worst front cabins on international routes.