SAM is on a quest to find The Playable Wargame.
Sounds like he already owns The Campaign for North Africa (more detail here).
As a general rule, SPI games were fun to think about and own, but playability could be a bit more difficult. Especially with the monster games like Objective: Moscow or The Next War. But there was still plenty of playable stuff even in the SPI arsenal, and the main problem with the monsters (apart from CNA) was that most folks didn't have the time and space to play--the maps for O:M cover most of the clear space on my living room floor. The mechanics are understandable, but the playing logistics require a spare, unused and uninvaded room.
I can sympathize with the quest--I haven't really found a playable wargame recently, either. Most of them are too complicated and/or time-consuming. It reminds me of the old Avalon Hill Rise and Decline of the Third Reich games we tried to play back in college--after set up, I think we made it to Winter 1939 before giving up.
Some of the older games are worth a shot. Panzer Leader was always fun (right, Bryan?), and Squad Leader was not too bad, either.
A really good beer and pretzels game is History of the World, which can be played in a single night, and offers up a nice combination of military and cultural approaches to winning. Basic idea: the longer your civilizations endure, the more victory points you accumulate. It's especially good for the non-wargamer, which is essential when you can't find fellow geeks to square off against. Britannia is somewhat in the same vein.
Maybe Marcvs has some ideas.