The 996 has the ugly egg yolk eyes and cheaper feeling than pre-996 cars and later 997s, but the 996TT is more bulletproof than a 2005 (non TT and GT) 997.
It's a better race bred motor than any of the 997s (again, except for the GTs and TTs) with a true dry sump derived from the GT1; the 997 is a M96 block (no separate oil tank plus the expensive RMS issues.)
Probably the best bang for your money if you want performance over styling. Plus it's AWD which could help save your life in the wet or any less than perfect road conditions.
But it all depends on what you really want from owning a 911. There is no "best." You need to try them on and see what fits for you.