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Ah, there's just such a myriad of groups nowadays that it's rather hard to just stick to one. What I usually do, at the start of a new anime season, is check out whether any of the groups that I know to be known for quality fansubs is subbing the series I'm interested in watching, and if they aren't, I'll ask some friends for advice on which group to follow, or I go and download all versions of the first episode released and compare their quality to decide which group I'll be following for the rest of the series.
It's generally easier to tackle this sort of question per series (and ask such questions in the respective threads), but if you want to talk about fansub groups in general...
Some of the currently active groups that're usually doing pretty well when it comes to fansub quality (at least in the series that I've watched of theirs) would be ones like gg, BSS (and gSS), Conclave, Mendoi (and Menclave), Frostii, Eclipse... For example.
I have a lot of the same habits.
I have a few standards by which I judge a group; if they use good raws not the first raws upped. Do they translate into readable English, I don't like mentally correcting grammar while I watch TV. Finally, I like groups that maintain a regular work schedule; they don't have to release the same day raws are out, but I won't wait two weeks to watch a weekly show either.
All of the groups Galth named are very good, consider them part of my list. In addition I like Chihiro, Static Subs, m.3.3.w., Live Evil, and Thoranime. Timeless Subs do fantastic work with JDrama.
Subs don't matter to me as long as I can read the manga before the Anime is released.
Yeah, Menclave has gotten incredibly slow... Another reason that I don't download from them often is that they're usually on the wrong side of fansub wars, hehehe. But nonetheless, their quality is usually superb. (Though in the case of Macross F, I still prefer gg's subs).
Just like galth said, theres alooot of groups out there. And the most important thing is to look for a serious and active group, thats where you find good subs.
It's good to know some japanese to, if the groups does some wrong typing it doesent bother me as much as it did before.
So, the most important thing is to look for a serious group that has a website or atleast irc and doesent drop everything they sub and sub certain parts of series and drops fillers.