Go vintage! Try a Ludwig Supraphonic. you can get em on Ebay in new condition for about 250, or in ok condition for around 175. Or if you're rich, go for a black beauty. Those are very expensive but I've heard that they are expensive for a reason. Or you could get a pearl reference series 20 ply snare. Just my thoughts. good luck!
I hate to be a wet blanket, but just asking others which is a good snare might not get you much useful information. More than any other single piece of your kit, the snare is the most complicated. First, decide what sound you want, and then learn what contributes to that sound, and finally which snares meet your criteria. Here is some basic info that might help you decide.
Sound in a snare is affected by many things, including shell material; diameter (distance from edge to edge); depth (distance from top or beater head to bottom or resonant head); porting (holes) in the shell or heads; type, material, construction, and quality of the lugs and hoops; the number of lugs; head material; surface coating of the heads; number and tension of the snare wires; the tightness of the heads; the relative tuning between the heads; whether or not the heads are free-floating; and whether or not there are internal reinforcing hoops. See what I mean?
Let's take just one aspect of the snare's composition, the material, and see how complicated this can get. As far as the actual material that the snare is made from, this is a short list starting from the top with darker tones, to the bottom with brighter tones:
As you can see, wood snares have a mellower tone that is suited well for jazz (which is why I'm going to steal Bernhard's . . . I mean, buy one like Bernhard's as soon as I can afford it), and metal has a more powerful tone that projects well through a rock ensemble. By the way, acrylic shells have a sharp crack and would be near the bottom of that list.
To further complicate just this one aspect of a snare's sound, metal and wood are sometimes used together, and even full wood snares can be made from combinations of different woods, or multiple layers of wood, or solid slats or "staves" that are fused together.
Then there are the details, which also affect the sound. The edge of the drum that the head rests on is called the bearing edge, and a sharp bearing edge lends brightness and sustain, whereas a rounder bearing edge makes the tone mellower. If the interior of the snare is smooth, there will be less resonance. If the shell is thinner, there will be more resonance.
And that is just the material and construction of the shell. As you can tell, many questions will have to be answered before you can decide which snare is best for you, included one very practical one: will the drum you choose sound good with the rest of your set?
If it's in matter of sound, I'd say may favourite sound is Abe Cunningham's (Deftones) snare sound. It's so clear and powerful. Just listen the first second of the song "My Own Summer" or "Digital Bath". Abe is also such a great drummer. Guess he's using a Starclassic Bell Brass snare drum............................if only one day Tama would like to endorse me, these are so expensive.
One other dream snare would maybe be the Sonor Artist serie Bronze snare, but it's also a jet-set snare.
I think i'm focusing to buy soon the Jimmy Chamberlin Yamaha signature snare. Actually I'm using my best friend's Chad Smith Pearl snare which is pretty cool, and is available for low budget.........
I generally go to Guitar Center and salivate over their 6 x 14 Tama Starclassic G Maple. It just sounds so great. But for now I have a 3 x 13 Pearl Maple pic which is suprisingly warm and fat. I like it a lot.
carter used it with dave matthews band on the central park album, i think he uses ocheltree snare drums otherwise. but anyway, this snare has the best crack ive ever heard. it exploads, and then you dont expect it to have such incredible sensativity at low volumes. no ring, overtones get a listen for yourself