Most people here use the usnews ranking.
I also think it is important to consider the qualitative factors of each school; I got accepted to TAMU very early (1/26) and it was my best offer for a long time. I realized that I wouldn't be happy in College Station, and should have applied elsewhere with the money saved.
Agree with what startz mention, and that is actually what I meant. Usnews is a good gauge of what a school's rank is. Once you've selected a range of schools to apply to, delve deeper into the faculty, fields of interest of current students (to see if you'll be the only one pursuing something in that field), as well as placement information of both students in general, and students in your field of interest. It might provide some information of how able those select few faculty members who are actively advising PhD students in your field, can place their students in their market.
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