I came across this article from The Telegraph about the 50 crime writers you should read before you die. It seem a fairly good list with some of the classics (Hammett, Chandler, Poe, Christie, etc) and some more recent masters (Ellroy, Leonard, Robert Crais). There are even some pleasant surprises along the way. But, as with all lists of this type, there are some omissions. I know some people will scream that James Crumley was left off. My main issue is the omission of Ross Macdonald. I've only read a couple Macdonald novels (with a couple more on my TBR pile) and others could make more eloquent defenses of why he should be on the list, but any list of top crime writers should include Macdonald. He took the style created and refined by Hammett and Chandler and gave it the depth you only saw in "literary" novels up to that point.
On a personal note, I'm happy Crais and Mickey Spillane were included.