re: Poker & Top 40 Hands
Actually DM, Sklansky's hand rankings put AQs, AJs and KQs before AKo. I'm not saying that I agree, but that's how they are listed.
AKo is the weakest group 2 hand in his ranking. The fact that he really raises the value of suited hands is also evident when he considers AKs a group 1 hand, with more value than TT.
There are other controversial hand ratings in Sklansky's list.
If you look at group 3, JTs comes before QTs, KJs and ATs. Reason for that, obviously, is that JT has more straight combinations than the 3 hands listed after. But I'm not sure I'd be happy to have JTs if my opponent has QTs.
In general, the criteria in these rankings is "playability", as mentioned by AG. When you go through Sklansky's book often he will talk about hands like JTs, saying they are great to play in multiway pots because of the many ways you can win and the implied odds
you are getting. The same is not said about ATs. While we all can easily agree to this part, the list per se does at times leave me perplex, as just happened to you.