As I recently had a chance to visit the AMNH in New York I thought I'd take the chance to post a few thoughts about it.
Firstly the big hitters; natural history museums are regardless of all else doomed to be judged on their dinosaur fossil mounts. They're the box office hitters in this environment and they get the best spots in the museum as a result. The main AMNH entrance opens into a lobby containing a couple of nice mounts - some sort of Sauropod dinosaur rearing up to defend itself against a carnivorous theropod. Its a very impressive mount but its looks out of place surrounded by tils, queues and lost tourists - I'd rather have seen a mount like this in the ampitheatre like design of the hall of African mammals where it can be viewed easily and uncrowdedly in the round.
I did feel the museum had a very nice natural flow to it leading you on instinctively from the dinosaurs to other prehistoric reptiles, amphibia and fish and then around to the more modern world. One thing I really liked was that the information on specimen wasn't intrusive or excessive - it was just neatly simply laid out next to the animal without massive computer displays or video commentaries. I particularly enjoyed the exhibition of Audubon's viviviparous quadrupeds of North America and the nearby extinct mammal mounts (of which more in a later post).
Similarly impressive was the space and resources devoted to hominid origins. This area is nicely presented both in terms of instructional fossil displays and imagination-catching dioramas (the Homo errectus being stalked by a giant hyena for example). Overall I have to say I really enjoyed the AMNH and found it to be a really well put together museum and well worth a revisit. I'd guess it would benefit from a midweek visit if possible to avoid the weekend crowds.