As much as I'm probably going to get flak for this, I would probably say overall that Metallica is the better band. Pantera had a few great albums, don't get me wrong, and I'm a huge fan of "Vulgar Display of Power", but Metallica just has so much more
. Their entire discography (aside from Lulu
) is just amazing, and I actually like how they've experimented with all sorts of different styles and genres over the years. Granted, their non-thrash stuff is not to everyone's tastes, but I enjoy it all the same.
The funny thing is, up until a few years ago I was a rabid Megadeth fanboy, and I never bothered to give Metallica a chance. Even when I did, I refused to listen to anything made after their self-titled album until about a year ago, when I finally decided to give their newer albums a chance. I was absolutely blown away by them, and from that point on I knew that Metallica were more than just an amazing thrash band.
As for Megadeth, I still enjoy them, though mainly only their early stuff.
"Peace Sells", "Rust in Peace", and "Countdown to Extinction" in particular are top-notch albums.