I like studio dead. Love live dead too, especially for the later '70s and '80s material. But I love American Beauty, Workingman's Dead, Aoxomoxoa... I love Anthem of the Sun.... what would I do without the studio version of "Alligator"? It's just excellent.
But I only saw them once and it was forever ago, so maybe I don't really know the difference anymore. I do enjoy my live Dead collection, but I don't listen often. I tend to go through phases. American Beauty, however, is always with me. Car, iPod, phone, vinyl and cd. Never leave home without it.