Thanks to Google Reader, I go through thousands of articles in the course of a year. You probably do, too. Think about it, if you read just 5 articles a day for 365 days, that's 1,825 articles, and in all honesty, I read at least twice that.
I've been thinking about articles that have struck me, and there are two in particular that I'd consider the best.
Coming at #2: "Helping to Write History," from the Washington Post. It's a profile of Jon Favreau, 27, President Obama's head speech writer. I have a ton of respect for this guy who's only a year older than I am, and who will write some of the most historically significant speeches before he hits 30. (Author's note: It's come to my attention that this article was published on December 18, 2008 and will therefore be disqualified from the ranking. Take that, Favreau.)
The Best Article of 2009: "Vanish: Finding Evan Ratcliff," Wired.com. A good article sucks in the reader, causing him or her to become emotionally invested. When I read this article, it read like a short story; I found myself rooting for the unlikely protagonist, a writer who was sponsored by Wired to go "off the grid" and to see how easy it would be for readers to find him with all of the electronic resources at their fingertips. A truly fascinating read.