We need a few more qualifications otherwise everyone will just recommend their own favourites and you'll end up with as many recommendations are there are cycle shorts.
Budget - how much are you wanting/willing to pay?
Use - are we talking long distance road cycling, mtb, commuting, evening ride to the pub?
Sex - we'll assume you're male - this cuts the possibilities for recommendations by roughly half
Style - tight lycra v. baggies
Worn with other clothes i.e. undershorts, or stand alone, as it were?
Budget - no idea. I guess £10-£15 a pair sounds reasonable for shorts, but don't mind if it's more.
Use - primarily commuting, 30-40 mins twice a day.
Sex - yes please!
Style - no Lycra!
I'd like a mixture, so some that can go underneath clothes, and some that can stand on their own two legs.
I tend to agree that short rides dont bring forth the need for padding - not for me and my current bike / seat anyway.
Regardless, heard good things about the wiggle dhb padded shorts; so i ordered a pair (medium). Looked / felt like i had pampers on, so back they went.
Search cyclechat as this topic has been brought up before, and many pages of suggestions were offered (mainly for bib shorts).
Anyway, one recommendation stuck with me, a senior forum member recommending Lusso shorts - i intend to follow up on this one (good prices on chair reaction and ribble).
More panels, higher price better quality I would think.. Assos also up there.