It's quite unbelievable actually, my recent smartphone purchase was the first time I have purchased a phone for myself. I've had company phones before, and shared one with my wife, but never bought one for myself. A recent job change within my company necessitated this, so off I went to study what was out there. Here's my findings
Probably my first choice, with an excellent reputation and a very good camera, but very expensive at $730 purchase, or tied with expensive $70+ per month plans.
Nokia Lumia 1020
My second choice, just, but for different reasons. The one and only reason to purchase this phone is the unbelievably good camera. The rest of the phone is good, but not exactly class leading, and the Windows environment is not as developed as Android or iOS. Only available with expensive plans too.
Samsung Galaxy S4
A very solid phone, and class leading up until recently. It has a good camera, interface and there are lots of apps available. The best thing about this phone is that it accepts micro SD cards for extra storage. The price is now coming down, with some carriers offering it on cheaper plans.
Samsung Galaxy S3
Still a decent phone, and my cheapest option if I took out a plan. Way behind the best android phones though.
Nexus 5 - my purchase
Its probably the class leading Android phone at the moment, tied with the LG G2, with its only weakness being the camera. Still it isn't bad and the camera does have vibration reduction, but it's just not as good as the phones above.
Its key selling point is price. At less than half the cost of all the other phones (except the S3) to purchase outright, the value is there. Compared to purchasing a iPhone 5s on a 2 year plan, it is almost $1000 cheaper to buy the Nexus 5 outright and go into a no contract month by month sign up. That's serious cash, and with the federal government putting pressure on carriers to reduce cost and improve service, it's probably a good idea to be in a position to be able to change contracts at will. For the huge cost difference, I don't need an iPhone or Nokia 1020 that bad.