I've seen a number of shows at the Ryman -- from Elvis Costello to Willie Nelson -- and have enjoyed each experience. The talk about the Ryman's spectacular acoustics is true. If a performer doesn't have the singing chops to pull of a show at the Ryman, they better skip it, because the auditorium won't hide a weak voice. Only real downside, the Ryman has the traditonal church benches, which can get kind of uncomfortable for long shows, but still nice to keep the traditional seating. Overall, an amazing venue. Nice that Nashville had the sense to restore this national landmark to its former glory.
Pros: tradition, sound, size
Cons: hard benches