Mark, you've posed some really interesting questions in your post. It's very very
tricky to say whether any person is "better" than another, mostly because each person's definition of "better" varies greatly.
That said, an Aikidoka usually has more of the qualities that I value than another random person. The people I admire are not exclusively Aikidokas, however. There are other ways to develop the same qualities and achieve the same goals. Aikido never pretended to be the only path, much less the only "right" or "true" path.
This generality does not account, however, for differences of personality. For example, I could find someone's sense of humor obnoxious or their manners could grate on my nerves. There are an infinite number of reasons why one person doesn't personally mesh with another.
I would have to agree that there are less than admirable people in Aikido. Some people I may not like because of their personality, but some I don't like because of something more substantial. Here I can only say that it's possible to do Aikido for many reasons. Someone else's reasons may not be the same as mine. If that person thinks that the principles of Aikido are ridiculous and acts accordingly, then chances are that I wouldn't like him. I generally believe, however, that you can only go so far in Aikido without believing in the principles somewhat (
). So, a short response to your answer would be that I find a higher percentage of admirable people the more they do Aikido (duration and quality of training), although I still don't get along with some of them personally.