I am looking at picking up my first helmet. 10+ years riding in the midwest it never felt necessary. Out west it seems like a good idea, seeing as my buddy was probably inches from a head injury today. Wound up being a seperated shoulder instead but makes you think a bit.
I know helmets are mostly personal fit, but are there some absolutely crappy or great brands. I do have some materials knowledge so I think in person I can tell crappy build quality, but any suggestions are helpful.