I wrote previously about basing my setup on the thoughtbot dotfiles. They include some critical plugins by default:

Plugin 'christoomey/vim-run-interactive'
Plugin 'croaky/vim-colors-github'
Plugin 'kchmck/vim-coffee-script'
Plugin 'kien/ctrlp.vim'
Plugin 'pbrisbin/vim-mkdir'
Plugin 'scrooloose/syntastic'
Plugin 'slim-template/vim-slim'
Plugin 'thoughtbot/vim-rspec'
Plugin 'tpope/vim-bundler'
Plugin 'tpope/vim-endwise'
Plugin 'tpope/vim-eunuch'
Plugin 'tpope/vim-fugitive'
Plugin 'tpope/vim-rails'
Plugin 'tpope/vim-repeat'
Plugin 'tpope/vim-surround'
Plugin 'vim-ruby/vim-ruby'
Plugin 'vim-scripts/ctags.vim'
Plugin 'vim-scripts/matchit.zip'
Plugin 'vim-scripts/tComment'

I’d argue that some of these are a bit too environment-specific to warrant global inclusion but hey, I trust their judgement. I use an additional set, some of which I couldn’t live without. Here are the top five:

Even though our .vimrc forces grep to use Ag when available, I like to include both the Ack and Ag plugins in case the Silver Searcher isn’t available (and I like the :Ag command).

Plugin 'mileszs/ack.vim'
Plugin 'rking/ag.vim'

2. Tab Completion

This is a must have, and Supertab does a great job.

Plugin 'ervandew/supertab'

3. Snippets

I love typing div.<Tab>row<Tab> and suddenly being inside a new Bootstrap row div ready for content. I’m not one to compare, but if you liked Textmate’s autocomplete you’re going to love these plugins.

Plugin 'garbas/vim-snipmate'
Plugin 'honza/vim-snippets'

4. Ruby Text Objects

Obviously only important if you write a lot of ruby, but Vim users know the importance of text objects and this one is critical for productive ruby development.

Plugin 'nelstrom/vim-textobj-rubyblock'

5. Character Pairs

Forget trying to hack your own character pair completion in .vimrc. This plugin does a great job intelligently autocompleting all of your (), [], “”, etc pairs.

Plugin 'jiangmiao/auto-pairs'

I have a handful of other plugins in my local bundles dotfile, feel free to poke around or suggest more!