There is a modest sentiment emerging from the small number of commenters on the other thread against statements in letters of reference of the form, "X is one of our three best students in the last ten years" or "X's work is as good as the work Professor Y at Stanford and Professor Z at Wisconsin" and so on. I thought it might be useful to gauge how representative those opinions are and whether those charged with evaluating letters of reference welcome such comparative judgments or not. Obviously letters of recommendation need to contain a lot more than comparative judgments, so that isn't the issue. The issue is whether in addition comparative judgments have value for hiring departments in evaluating candidates. I've given five choices, intended to express a spectrum of strength of opinion on the matter, from strorngly favoring such comparisons to strongly opposing them.