Last summer, I had to rent a car for the first time. As it happened, my car was rear-ended one week before I went on vacation all the way across the country, so my car rental experiences happened in very quick succession. The first time, I ended up renting with Enterprise since they were recommended by my insurance company. The second time, in California, I used Budget because I had gift certificates I wanted to use up.
I was very pleased with Enterprise, but quite disappointed in Budget. If renting a car results in me standing around an airport car rental agency with two exhausted kids at midnight, screaming at the desk clerk because she's being about as unhelpful as a customer service agent can possibly be, I'm going to have to rate that as a Bad Experience (TM).
Too late, I discovered USA Car Rental, which is a service that allows you to compare and find the best prices on auto rentals in the United States. I bet they could have saved me some money on my trip last year, and I'm certainly going to keep them in mind next year when I travel to the west coast once more.