I love good Black and White photos but there is so much more to a truly great B/W portrait than just hitting the "Desaturate" button! Beyond the obvious subject matter, orientation, and general composition, a good B/W has great contrasts, range, and lighting along with a host of other complexities.
Here are a few of my favorite Black and White from other artists on Flickr; each one exemplifying excellent artistic quality.
All photos Copyright to their respective owners. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.
Please note that I do not necessarily endorse these photographers or their other photos. I have found these portraits alone to be of highest quality and so have posted them here.