No way would I ever fly a Russian built or operated aircraft.
In the US, unless it was the only way to get to my destination, I would not take an AirTran DC-9. The incidents involving in-flight fires, poor maintence, and other mishaps is just too great for the former-Valujet carrier. I'd feel great taking a 717 on AirTran, and hope that the DC-9s disappear ASAP before the next accident occurs involving one. Overall, however, if economics is an issue that would make the difference between driving or flying an older plane on a lowfare carrier, I would always choose the better odds of flying (even AirTran DC-9s) than to risk death driving in the US.
I think that 727s are some of the more reliable and safest airplanes and would fly one any day on a major carrier, but many are beginning to reach the end of their service lives. Personally, I really like flying on a 727 and find it to be one of the safest aircraft in the industry along with the 737, 757, 767, 777, and MD-80 series. All are great aircraft. Airbuses rank second in my mind because of the sidestick instead of a regular flight yoke and issues involving the computer having the final word regarding pilot control inputs.
In regard to early Boeing 741 and 742 models, many have probably been retired after TWA-800 and those that haven't I'm sure have received a high level of scrutiny regarding safety issues after the disaster.
Overall, I feel safe flying on almost every US airline when compared to the alternative of driving along with all the other maniacs on our highway system.