A recent post by Jim McCausland on the Sunset blog, Fresh Dirt, inspired me to dig up this photo of Chusquea gigantea. What I like about this clumping bamboo is that it has the most bamboo-like qualities of the clumpers. (Unlike the running bamboo species, clumpers grow more slowly and in an easily contained growth habit. You can learn more about the clumpers on the Bamboo Garden website.)
The culms have a certain architectural oomph which is often what draws people to bamboo in the first place. This effect can be enhanced by removing the lowest foliage and thinning the canes on an annual basis.
To me, some of the other clumping bamboos read as big arching grasses in the garden, which can be lovely, but if you're looking for a plant with all the goodness of bamboo without the containment hassles check out Chusquea gigantea.