Maybe skylights can't be guaranteed not to leak, but every professional we've talked to says Velux is, hands down, the way to go.
I'll say up front that we actually didn't do as much comparative research on skylights as we did for central air conditioning or other products. Why? Because all of the initial research we did quickly pointed to Velux.
Granted, we don't have a lot of quantitative evidence to point to. (Consumer Reports hasn't reviewed skylights.) That said, we did talk to several architects and builders, and it was amazing how consistently (and enthusiastically!) they said that Velux was the way to go.
As for specifics, here are a few of the things that we heard:
Given that we focused less on Velux vs. [INSERT ANY VENDOR HERE] and more on deciphering the various Velux options, what follows is a summary of what we learned in choosing our own Velux windows...
We've decided to get two skylights for our master bedroom, installed as a pair over the bed. Specifically, we're getting the Velux VS 304--a 30" x 46" manual venting skylight. We also ordered cellular shades for both.
Hopefully it should look something like this.
Needless to say we're excited to get the skylights installed. We got ours as a special order from Home Depot...they've arrived and we're hoping our neighbor Jay (a former carpenter) will be able to come over soon and to help install them.
(And yes, we've discussed the "do you want to listen to the rain over your head?" question with a few people. We both love the sound of rain overhead. Must be left over from summer cabins, tents and sleeping on boats in early childhood.)