One of the most attractive elements of a good board game are all the pieces that constitute the game on the table. The quality/appeal here can come from the book/card artwork (as in Magic the Gathering) or the board (as in Defenders of the Realm) or from the token/miniatures of various types (as in Castle Ravenloft).
The very best looking board games are perhaps the Games Workshop Warhammer and Warhammer 40K with all those lovingly painted miniatures on a custom board. Here are a few images of just how good a game can look in full flight via the Games Workshop Flickr Group.

[Warhammer Fantasy and 40K game photos via the Flickr Group]

I havent done any mini construction or painting for quite some time, but if you check out these posts over on the-waaagh you can see my huge custom Ork Warboss…

One of the inspirational things is seeing how much detail good artists can bring to a little piece of crafted metal or plastic. Here are 3 superlative examples via the Cool Mini or Not site. First a Dwarf with so much detail on the painting that we get fabric texture, then Lady Ayana with her patterned clothes and cool waves and lastly a Frog King just because he is so cute.

 [Mini pics via Cool Mini or Not]