I'm sure I'm not the first to post this, and I won't be the last. But I think you guys used to have a great mag, and a great website. Its funny and generally informative. But, lets be honest, your biggest value to your readers (i.e. what convinces them to plunk down almost $10 now for the new stand price) are:
3. news & opinion on recent happenings in PC world
4. you bring these three things together all in one, easy to access, place.
In theory, The Best of the Best list is the epitome all these elements, and you ignore it like a red-headed step child. Half the stuff on there is obsolete, many models can't even be found anymore (try finding a Lite-On iHAS422 -- why would you when you can get the iHAS424?)
In short, MPC's Best of the Best is an embarrassment. It's a waste of time to read it. I build something similar to your "Dream Machine" every two or three years. I don't have the time to keep up on the latest best stuff in between then, so I used to go to your Best of the Best to shorten my research time (time I should be spending on my PhD dissertation), but now instead it only lengthens my research. Because I have to check EVERY part I am interested in to make sure it truly IS the best part currently out there. It used to be that the Best of the Best was dead on, years ago. But every time I've built, the list of obsolete items grows longer. And now, its absolutely useless to me.
Back in the days when PC Magazine was around, they had a great "The Best Stuff" page. Maximum PC's Best of the Best used to be the Enthusiast PC Builder's version of that. A break down of entry, mid, and high-end/enthusiast categories for every part you need in a computer. And now you got categories like best AMD motherboard? Who cares!? I don't care if I put AMD or Intel, AMD/ATI or Nvidia in my rig. I just want the best performance part for the price point I am willing to pay. If the low, mid, high end part all end up being from a single company, then only list those parts. Don't waste space catering to fan boys who absolutely need to have their company on the lists, even when that company was out thought, out performed, and out priced at every level and wouldn't merit mention otherwise.
You guys call yourself a builder's magazine, and your Best of the Best list doesn't even list everything you need to build a computer. You don't list PSUs or RAM. In fact you've never listed RAM. Why the hell not? It changes too fast? You've moved your list to the website, no paper publishing cycle to deal with -- hence no excuse to not keep, even a fast evolving category such as RAM, on your list and constantly updated.
The Best of the Best is a disgrace. In another two years I'll build another system. Will I start my hunt for the choicest parts on the MPC Best of the Best list? Judging by the rate of decay, I doubt it.