You don't have any choice. PD's are appointed only for people who cannot afford to hire their own lawyer anyway. If you can afford to hire a lawyer privately, the taxpayers are not going to pick up the tab for you.
PD's are, almost invariably, the most experienced trial attorneys in any jurisdiction. They typically try even more cases than DA's (Which is why a PD is usually paid more than a DA) and far more than any private lawyer.
What they do NOT have is the free time to hold your hand, reassure you, and discuss the case over the phone with you, your mom and dad, your baby-momma and anyone else who calls.
A private lawyer, on the other hand, is working for you and will do all those things - because the meter is running while he does them.
martindale.com will give you ratings but these are just ratings by their peers and it costs money to be listed so I'm not too sure if that is the place to look. Best thing I recommend would be to look up several different workers comp lawyers in colorado search through their websites and qualify them both by the content on their site and initial consultation. Many of the lawyers will have sections of their websites for bragging rights. Big cases that they won, etc. Start there. Now if you are looking for a lawyer try targetlaw.com. Really good lawyer search engine. get a dozen or so websites off of this thing and start calling around. Good luck with your case.