"I'm new to Drupal. What modules should I check out?"
That's a common Drupal beginner question. Everyone (even the newbie who asks) knows the general answer: "It depends entirely upon what your site needs." But that doesn't help the beginner much with making a start. "You can do anything, because Drupal has over 4000 modules!" is wonderful news to the ambitious newbie's ear – yet it's pretty frightening, too.
The smart Drupal beginner will rightly ask, "Okay, I know there's a bushel of modules for any feature I have in mind, and I look forward to exploring them in detail... but for now, what are some common favorites for Drupal sites of every stripe?"
A good list of popular, all-round workhorse modules can quickly get a newcomer on the path to a functional site. Here's a list of my most-used Drupal 6 favorites, plus a few recommendations for beginners, based on butter-fingered experience with over a dozen sites. I'd love to see comments with additional (or better) ideas! Read more about Great Modules for the Drupal Beginner