I've expressed my delight in the past with DC Comics' B&W "Showcase Presents" volumes, but I've always been more ambivalent regarding the "Essentials" by Marvel that led the way. Why the difference? I guess the Essentials, despite coming first and being what DC copied, were sort of half-baked in presentation. The paper was flimsy, and the reproduction was often lacking or just downright poor. I picked up a few volumes, but I was usually so unimpressed that I never bothered.
That has all changed in the last year or two. Many of the older Essentials have been redone, and the reproduction is dramatically improved. The paper stock is better. Bonus material prepared for the higher-end Masterworks has been added. I now own all 7 "Essential" volumes of The Avengers in their current editions, and I'm working my way through them. So far, I have yet to be let down in the quality department.
So, I'm giving Marvel a thumbs up for their current Essentials. Just don't quit now, guys!