If I were to rank the years from best to worst, with the good reasons thus far (1995-2006), I'd go:
2003 / 2004
2005 - Shocktrooper, Grievous' Body Guard, General Grievous 4-lightsabers, Darth Vader, Clone Commander, Wookiee Warrior, Palpatine lightsaber attack, SA Clone Trooper, Commander Bacara, Anakin Battle Damaged, Obi-Wan Pilot, Commander Bly, 501st Special Ops Trooper, Count Dooku, Chancellor Palpatine, C-3PO, Agen Kolar, Kit Fisto, Royal Guard (red), Luninara Undulli, Aayla Secura, Mas Ameeda, Tarkin, Ask Aak, Meena Tills, Utopau Warrior, Tion Meddon Pablo Jill, Sly Moore, Theed Celebration Padme, Feltipern Trevagg, Myo, Dannik Jerriko - 33 figures
2006 - Leia Boussh, Bib Fortuna, General Veers, Major Derlin, AT-AT Driver, Gonk Droid, Snowtrooper, General Rieeken, Sora Bulq, Sun Fac, Poggle The Lesser, Scorch, Cody, Utopau Clone, Firespeeder Pilot, Lushros Dofine, Momaw Nadon, R5D4, Hem Dazon, Chief Chirpa, C-3PO, Endor Luke, Rebel Trooper Endor, Rep Been, Naboo Soldier, Dud Bolt & Mars Guo, Gragga, Clone Trooper Kashyyyk, Clone Trooper Geonosis Sergeant, - 29 figures
*** Even if we take out 5 previously released or kit-bashed, repaints, I was surprised to see that 2006 still barely beats the next contestant.
1999 - Aunt Beru, Greedo CommTech, Han Cantina, Wuher, R2 with Holo Leia, CommTech Stormtrooper, Sneak Preview Mace, C-3PO, Vallorum, Darth Sidious, Ric Ollie, Ki-Adi Mundi, Padme Tatooine, Senator Palpatine, Watto, R2D2, Destroyer Droid, Nute Gunray, Rune Haako, Qui-Gon Naboo, Anakin Naboo, Captain Panaka, Naboo Royal Guard, - 23 figures
2002 - Bo Shek, R4M9, Teebo, Sneak Preview Clone, Captain Typho, Jango Fett, R2D2 beeping, Geonosian Warrior, Dexter Jettster, SaeSee Tiin, Clone Captain, Zam Wessel, Anakin Hanger Duel, Jango Final Battle, Endor Soldier, Orm Free Taa, Palpatine, Padme Pilot, Ephant Mon, Teemto Pagales, Clone Gunship Pilot, Watto flying - 22 figures
1998 - Luke Bespin, Lando General, Lak Sivrak, Biggs Darklighter, Wicket / Logray, Ishi Tibb, Zuckuss, Admiral Piett, Vader Removeable Helmet, Death Star Trooper, R2D2 with Datalink, C-3PO with removeable limbs, Leia New Likeness, Ree-Yees, AT-AT Driver, Pote Snitkin, Vader Flash Back, Palpatine Flashback, Leia Dark Empire, Luke Dark Empire - 20 figures
2001 - Aurra Sing, Chewie Mechanic, Leia Bespin Escape, Queen Theed Throne, JarJar Tatooine, Lando Bespin Escape, Obi-Wan Cold Weather, Tessek, Sandtrooper, Bespin Guard, Elors Madak (Duro), Sabe, Vader Emperor's Wrath, Shmi Skywalker, FX-7, Queen Decoy, Imperial Officer, Rebel Fleet Trooper, Eeth Koth, Zutton - 19 figures
2003 - Padme Droid Factory, Tusken Raider, Anakin Secret Ceremony, Boba Fett Carkoon, Aayla Secura, Han Hoth, Yoda & Chian, Ashla & Jempa, Wat Tambor, Coleman Trebor, Bail Organa, Elan Sleezebagano, ARC Trooper, Ventress, CW Mace Windu, Clone Trooper, CW SaeSee Tiin - 17 figures
2004 R1-G4, Luke Jabba's Palace, Bar-2D2, Luke Hoth, Tanus Spijek, Dutch Vandor, Captain Antilles, Jan Dodonna, Dengar, Bossk, General Madine, Luke Dagobah, Yoda Dagobah, R2 Dagobah, Cloud Car Pilot, Lobot, Imperial Scanner Trooper - also 17 figures
1997 - Bossk, Lando Skiff, Admiral Ackbar, Garindan, Tarkin, Ponda Baba, Weequay, Han Bespin, Leia Slave, Snowtrooper, EV-9D9, Gamorrean Guard, Luke Ceremony - 13 figures
2000 - Admiral Motti, Security Battle Droid, Mas Ameeda, Boss Nass, Vader Dagobah, Gungan Warrior, Porkins, Han Bespin, Mon Calamari Officer, Sio Bibble - 10 figures
1996 - Luke Dagobah, TIE Pilot, Luke Jedi Knight, Sandtrooper, Death Star Gunner, Leia Boussh, Luke Stormtrooper Disguise, Momaw Nadon - 8 figures
1995 - R2D2, Stormtrooper, Boba Fett - 3 figures
I listed the figures I liked, not necessarily what I bought as some I didn't need (ie 2006 Leia Boussh) but I can still admire them.
Note, I also think that most years Hasbro was improving all the time. The biggest step backward was in 2000.
So what's your favorite years and why? (ps I used the photo archives at Rebelscum to help me count up my favorites year by year and list them)