We have seen many minimap mods for Minecraft during the beta days which all just slowly disappeared. Rei's Minimap mod however, has not been phased out, and is going stronger than ever, being one of the first mods to be updated the last few updates. Let's see what this very high-profile mod has to offer.
One of the first things you'll notice when you install this mod is that the map looks very good. The render is very detailed, and lighting is very good. Real-time renders have never been this pretty, the quality can easily match Cartographer renders. A very common problems with maps is the height difference is hardly visible, but this minimap doesn't have problems with that. Mountains stand out and valley look deep compared to them, giving you a very quality 3D view of the terrain around you. I really can't stress enough how good it looks.
It's also very configurable: an in-game menu opens when you press M, and in it you have tons of options to customize the map to your liking. You can customize the zoom (from very a very detailed, only a few chunks around you look onto a big map that can cover almost a whole biome around you), the map shape and frame (a player's favorite design from Zan's Minimap is available), the display of coordinates, and other stuff. Pretty much anything is up for customization. The map has the option to hide snow, show slime chunks, show chunk borders and other stuff that is extremely useful.
Then we have the waypoints, a major feature of every minimap. They work fine here too. You can turn them on and off, they are server and map specific, you can change colors and it's even possible for the mod to automatically mark your deathpoint for you to easily find it. The only problem is this mod may be considered a cheat by some servers, since it gives you a compass and a map all in one. Most servers don't punish for using it, so it's really your choice. I personally love it, and use and encourage it on my server since otherwise people would just build giant ugly pointers for navigation.
This all runs very good - the framerate doesn't take much of a hit (3-5 fps), it doesn't ever crash Minecraft and conflicts with other mods are minimal. With tons of features, common updates and awesome looks, this mod is truly something special, and deserves to be among the best. Download it now!