Now that we know what visual novels we should be aiming for, where can we get them? For people who can't read Japanese, it's frustrating to watch an entire art form pass them by while they're helpless to do anything about it.
The cure to these frustrations is the website Fuwanovel.org
There we can find english translations of many classic visual novels ready for play. This includes Tsukihime, Fate/stay night, Muv-Luv, Muv-Luv Alternative, Clannad: Tomoyo After Story, Rewrite, Planetarian - Chiisana Hoshi no Yume, Sharin no Kuni, G-senjou no Maou, Ever17, and Umineko Chiru. All classic works, none of which were covered by an anime adaption.
If anime adaptions aren't enough, there's also translations of Utawarerumono, Canvas 2, Little Busters, Steins;Gate, Phantom of Inferno. Clannad, Kanon, Umineko, Tears to Tiara, and Chaos;Head. The original Galaxy Angel visual novel trilogy has also been translated into English. Since the games are very different from the anime, it might be worth looking into.
Other good visual novels are in translation as we speak, for instance Little Busters Ecstasy, Umineko Chiru with ps3 sprites and voices, Grisaia no Kajitsu, Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, Irotoridori no Sekai, Fortune Arterial, Yoaka Mae yori Ruri Iro na, Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinisai!, Air, Amagami, Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinisai S, Dracu-Riot, Real Imouto ga Iru Oizumi-kun no Baai, Mahoutskai no Yoru, Koi to Senkyou to Chocolate, Kud Wafter, Tenshin Ranman, Hatsuyuki Sakura, Aiyoku no Eustia, and Kamikaze Explorer.
These projects cover a large portion of all the best visual novels that have come out of Japan. Whoever is involved in these translation projects are true heroes for giving access to an art form that so far only Japan has enjoyed. Luckily for the rest of us, it isn't necessary to learn how to read Japanese to enjoy visual novels. All we have to do is wait for the fan translations to finish. Whether that takes months or years isn't that important -- work on the ones that have finished and that will pass the time until new ones have finished and so on. The only thing that matters is the translation eventually is completed. Dropped projects are the only true catastrophes.
If you read nothing else, read Planetarian, Tomoyo After and Rewrite. The works of Key should be known and etched into everyone's hearts in the entire world.
P.S.: Shuffle and its sequel Tick Tack, Koihime Musou, Suika A.S.+, Kotori If/Exp, Ef the first tale, D.C. I and D.C. II, the basic games, are out in English from the company Mangagamer. Osananajimi wa Daitouryou and School Days HQ is out in English from the company Jast.
P.P.S.: But you'll still need to learn to read Japanese eventually -- how else will you ever be able to play Da Capo Poker?