Although I've read many books that were originally written in another language, I’ve rarely paid attention to who the translator was. There are a few notable examples that immediately come to mind. All of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's books have been translated by the same woman, Lucia Graves, whose father is also an author. Zafon’s writing is so poetic and beautiful and I doubt that I would've loved his books as deeply if it had been badly translated.
I also remember reading War and Peace a couple years ago and everyone was buzzing about that particular translation, done by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, and how good it was. Granted, I've never read it in any other translation, so I have nothing to compare it to but it was excellent! Another one that stands out is the Lydia Davis translation of Madame Bovary.
When I read Don Quixote everyone asked which translation I picked, and I was almost embarrassed that I hadn't put more thought into it. I picked the one that was available at my library. That being said, I think there are so many things that can be lost in translation when the book is taken from one language to another.
If the translator takes things very literally some of the poetry and beauty of the language can be lost. For a long time I've wondered what it would be like to read some of my favorites in their original languages. I'd love to learn another language just to be able to read some of those books as they were originally intended.
How about all of you, do you put a lot of thought into what translation you pick? Do you have any particularly good translators that I should keep an eye out for when I am selecting an addition of a book?