If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I'm just looking for the next follow up title to Whedon's Astonishing run if there even is one. I was told to start house of M and then go into the Messiah arcs. But I just want to be sure before I get into all that. I don't want to miss anything that is considered essential reading.
Well, this may not have to do with what your reading but if you want a good x-men story then maybe try the uncanny x-force
dude the dark angel saga was awesome.
I just ended up skipping ahead a lot because I wanted to be current. I read Schism and then the relaunch with Uncanny X-men and Wolverine and The X-men.
uncanny x-men is ending sometime in november and is being replaced by the all-new x-men, which an on-going series of the original five x-men from the past coming to the present and seeing how they end up. Look up marvelNOW
I haven't read it, but Warren Ellis took over Astonishing X-Men after Whedon (you can find it in the TPBs Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Box, Exogenetic, and Xenogenesis).
As for "essential reading," there's always the original Lee/Kirby issues (found in Marvel Masterworks), and of course The Dark Phoenix Saga is a must read.