Woeful AM on a radio is depressing and downright unacceptable. If a radio has lousy AM, no other features, no matter how admirable, can redeem it. Fortunately, there are several excellent AM radios out there. I will list the ones that not only pull in AM stations with remarkable power, but lock on the stations without drifting and have a minimum of background noise.
Number One: Kaito 2100. Perhaps the best general purpose radio available because of its unparalleled AM and FM. My only complaint is that you have to toggle through a preset button, only moving up, to go through your presets. A minor peeve: The buttons require firm pressure. But still this is the AM king.
Number Two: Sangean PR-D5. This features a huge 200mm internal AM ferrite antenna, and it shows. Outstanding AM. At around $70, I'd say you can't get a better radio for the money. I'll be curious to see if the new Sangean PR-D7, featuring a monoaural 3-inch speaker, unlike the dual 2.5 speakers on the PR-D5, is implanted with the same AM antenna.
Number Three: The now defunct Boston Acoustics Recepter. BA does an amazing job with their tuners. The sound quality and absence of background noise is amazing.
Number Four: Boston Acoustics Horizon Solo. The AM on this new radio may even be better than its older brother the Recepter. I've had a few minor problems though and readers have been reporting MAJOR BUGS. If you buy one, keep the receipt and make sure yours isn't full of gremlins. I suspect newer models will get better. For a high-fidelity bedside radio, the BAHS, in the absence of bugs, may be the best of its kind.
Number Five: Sangean WR-2. This is the clock radio I use. AM is outstanding. FM is better in my new model than it is in the one I bought back in 2005. Highest recommendation.
Number Six: Eton S350 DL. Outstanding AM and FM and very similar in look to the Kaito 2100. However, the 2100 does a better job of hiding the birdy noise when AM gets weak at night or in hard-to-get stations. Still, a great AM radio.