I think it's whichever you happen to come across first in your life and end up liking, that's the version you'll prefer. When a song is really amazing to you, think about how hard is it to top that. And conversely, how easy would it be to better a shitty song? But who is gonna cover a shitty song to begin with? I think that's why older(than I) folks will always prefer influencial artists like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. I can't imagine anyone improving on U2's "With or Without You" ,Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees",or GNR's "November Rain". If there will be covers, some young punk whose never grew up with these bands will probably prefer the covers. Having said that, I prefer these covers: Lush's "I Have The Moon". (The Magnetic Fields) The Donnas' "Strutter" (KISS) Marilyn Manson's "Personal Jesus" (Depeche Mode) Fiona Apple's "Across the Universe" (Beatles) Pet Shop Boys' "Always On My Mind" (Presley) Saint Etienne's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (Neil Young) Jimmy Eat World's "Last Christmas" (Wham) This one's reaaaally close! And I don't even like JEW. Yes, I know I'm blasphemous to many of you. Fire away.