This is the recording that turned me, irrevocably, onto Bruckner. Certainly the benchmark, all others being of curiosity value, so as to hear other methods and the inevitable pitfalls. Gloriously played, sublimely humane, even more vital to your collection than the much-praised Vienna Eighth. Karajan's final recording: a perfect ending. Look no further, seriously.
Update 2013: well, today I might qualify the "all others being of curiosity value", but the truth as I understand it remains that this is the greatest Bruckner 7th on record and one of Karajan's essential recordings. The fervour of the performance is unarguable.