pster wrote:1) Is there a good dictionary that is not on this list? I read Plato, Aristophanes, and Demosthenes presently. Homer will be way down the road I'm afraid. So I'm mostly interested in Attic right now.
Those dictionaries don't really cover post-Classical Greek as well as possible, if you ever want to read those. There's the BDAG lexicon but I believe that concentrates mostly on the New Testament and Christian works, and I don't know what's out there for secular works. I've been reading Epictetus recently and the L&S can sometimes be less than helpful with certain words that I look up.
2) I don't really like the way any of the dictionaries do the principal parts. I'm sure that there are lots of variations across dialects etc, but would it really be so hard to just have a list with six entries (perhaps some blank) somewhere in the definition? (I assume the answer here is yes, but I'd like to hear somebody say it.) I sometimes feel like I have to study the history of the word just to get the aorist or the m/p perfect.
I don't know -- I agree with you. It's very frustrating if you just want to quickly look up a principal part. Smyth's grammar has a list of forms for common verbs which I find useful for looking things up.
About L&S, one thing I really like is that it's usually very precise about what constructions a specific word can have and I find that very useful in figuring out what's going on -- e.g. δοκῶ used to trip me up a lot but its entry is very good for learning how the verb can be used. Or even with what cases a verb governs -- textbooks and grammars have things like "verbs meaning X take case Y" but these are generalizations and I find it useful just to look up what cases a specific verb will take with what meanings. I also find entries on some of the little words like ὡς or γάρ or the prepositions are really good in giving you an overview and I've looked over them more than once (although there are basically books on these words so the entries don't cover everything of course). The thing I'm not a fan of, ironically for a dictionary, is that sometimes the translations aren't all that helpful, especially when you get a string of glosses that cover a lot of meanings, so it's hard to pin down the meaning of the word (and sometimes I suspect that certain English words must have changed meaning since the time when L&S was put together, but I can't think of any examples right now).
And of course, it's in English. It would be really nice to have a modern up-to-date dictionary in Greek. For me, being able to use monolingual dictionaries for the language I'm trying to learn is one of my major goals. But I doubt we'll ever see that for Greek.