Depts on all levels matter to an extent imo. If they arent very good, then it reflects poorly on the school and a quality school, I think, should address such a problem. Certianly, there are prolly more pertinent things for a school to deal with, but if its a notable problem, then it will hurt the school esp something like admissions.
Anyways, here are my main determinants:
The prestige/ranking, but definately coupled with location, since Im not competitive at the top 20 or so.
If theyre relatively even after that point, cost and academics come into play.
Next tie-breaker is how I felt when i visited the schools and how the faculty at the school treated me and the feeling given off from the students there, but also job opportunities (but job prospects were pretty solid from all of the school I applied so this is consequently low on the factors already).
I have a small list of available options at the moment, so its pretty inconsequential what i think about the schools i applied and more along the lines of if they admitted me.