Are people suggesting it's an either-or thing? Either you have great comfort but a sucky crew, or the best crew but a bad boat? What's wrong with wanting both? Id prefer not to settle for either. Id like a comfortable place to stay, and a knowledgeable crew.
Maybe comfort means different things to different people.
Well Cor, I think it's a very subjective thing, comfort. Having just done the staff trip, it clearly came out that different people have different expectations. Comfortable is definitely very subjective. Some people want the Aman and others think holiday inn is plenty enough and comfy.
Crew rapport is also subjective and very dependent on chemistry. The only thing that is absolutely important in knowledge of the area. So picking the guys who know the area well is probably the best bet.
I happen to know that Buck from Archipelago did his own surveys around the Banda Sea area in the last 3 years. Mark Heighes from the 7 Seas is a salty ol'cap'n whose been in the area for dog years and one of the pioneers of Indo liveaboard diving.