I love the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and believe it is the most useful of all English translations of the Bible. Here are my reasons:
1. It is the most literal of all English translations. For a native-English-speaker who is not fluent in Greek or Hebrew, the NASB is as close as I will ever get to what the prophets and apostles originally wrote.
2. Because of its faithfulness to the what the prophets and apostles originally wrote, the NASB makes an exhaustive concordance (e.g. Strong’s) most effective. That is, it is much easier to do study specific words with the NASB, allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture.
3. Most editions of the NASB include a cross-reference apparatus which correlates a given verse with other similar verses, many of which a concordance word study wouldn’t necessarily catch.
4. Those who created the NASB translation were convinced that the Scriptures are the word of God. While many Bible translators have this conviction, the breadth and depth of this belief among the NASB translation committee is noteworthy. I believe it drove them to literalness and discouraged undocumented emendations to an unparalleled degree.
The only improvement I could see to make to the NASB would be to have its Old Testament based on the Septuagint text (i.e. Greek) rather than on the Masoretic text (i.e. Hebrew). This is because, of course, the New Testament when quoting the Old Testament seems to be referring much more often to Greek than to Hebrew renderings of the Old Testament text.
There are other literal English translations of the Bible (e.g. the King James Version, the English Standard Version, the New King James Version), and they are all useful. There are also good translations of the Bible which are less literal (e.g. the New International Version, the Good News Bible, the Living Bible), and they, too, have their appropriate uses. And there are certainly other worthwhile English translations which I have not mentioned specifically here. My favorite of all English Bible translations, however, remains the NASB – for the reasons I have given.