Hey - I am not a scholar, but have studied Greek (4 years formal teaching at a local Christian college). Every version has its warts. Like Jonathan, I regularly consult many versions. The two that I always have open when reading the NT are the NASB (or its 95 update) and the ESV. The main downside to the NASB group is that it includes, in brackets, a translation of some of the words found in the Textus Receptus that are not in the modern Greek text. However, I have just used the Accordance highlighting feature to draw a skinny black line through the words that really don't belong there.
One of the reasons I continue to go to the NASB is that, of all the versions, it seems to be the best at rendering the imperfect tense as an imperfect instead of a simple past. A lot gets lost when aspect is completely ignored. Take, for instance, Acts 18:4-5. There are three imperfect verbs in this passage. The first imperfect, διeλεγετο, is Customary (Paul regularly preached in the synagogue on the sabbath). The second is Conative. Paul was trying to persuade the people. We know from verse 6 that most resisted, so translating επειθεν as a past in v4, as if the persuading had been successful, is a poor choice. The third imperfect, συνειχετο, is Ingressive, emphasizing the start of new activity. We know from elsewhere in Scripture that Paul received a monetary gift from the Christians in Macedonia, and it is likely that Silas and Timothy were the bearers of that gift. Anyway, something changed with their coming. Before they came, Paul was occupied with tent-making to support himself, preaching mostly on the Sabbath. After Silas and Timothy came, he was able to set aside the tent-making and devote himself completely to preaching the word. The NASB is the only English version I have found that renders these verses in a way that makes all this clear. I greatly appreciate the attention to detail, and feel that those who are faithful in the small things are likely to be faithful in other ways.
One of the other reasons I keep going to the NASB/NAS95 is that it seems to be more consistent about rendering Greek cognates with several occurrences in the same passage with English cognates. That can be of great help to the English-only reader, but to the rest of us as well.
Lastly, for the English reader, only a few Bible versions put the English words added by the translators to make the text more readable or understandable in italics when there is no corresponding Greek word. The NASB/NAS95 and the KJV/NKJV do this. This is most helpful to the English-only reader, but is also helpful to the one with some knowledge of the original languages.
As a Sunday school teacher (ages 16 through college), I need to have a bunch of versions because my students don't all use the same one. We have tried to teach them not to rely on just one Bible version, nor to rely on just one commentary. We have encouraged them to use other versions, even the ones that take a lot of liberties with the text, as they would a commentary.
My top three choices for the NT are: NASB/NAS95, ESV, & NET (New English Translation)
For the OT: NASB/NAS95, ESV, JPS.
I regularly go to my "Sixteen Bible Search" to look at how a subset of my Bibles renders a particular verse or two. See attached.
Sixteen Bible Search.png 691.4K