My favourite year/s was 3 years to be exact as around this time i was going three to four times a month and those threee years were 94, 95 and 96.
Btw the hardstep sound was evident from as early as late 94 early 95 (pioneered by Grooverider) and was more predominent in those years then in 97, 97 in my eyes got darker as i remember Renegade Hardware coming through heavy that year!
seriously, though i have only been in the scene for about 6 years im happy with where it is today....dnb is evolving every year.... there are whole host of DJ's and producers right now covering all aspects.
with more producers reiterating the old skool vibes in there tunes and what not whilst simultaneously being inventive in their ways Drum N Bass can only keep getting better.
Every year before Nicky BM started playing jump up loads nah just had to rant there, i've liked every year so , but at one point i was quite particular to late 90's Ray Keith etc, so perhaps a definitive answer would be late 90's/v early 2000's