Re: Poll: Which is more important for you in your aikido training?
Not an easy one to answer.
Twenty years or so ago, I started Aikido because of the instructor. The class I watched (Kimeda Sensei in Toronto, Canada) was very interesting and the ability of the instructor combined with the way he taught made me want to join right away. This had been after about a month of visiting dojos of various martial arts and not finding anything substantial within the classes I observed to make we want to come back. Kimeda Sensei's class was completely different, so it was *him* that brought me into Aikido. I joined that night and came back for the next class.
I think, however, that I stayed in Aikido because of the support and encouragement of my fellow students. Which is why I voted for the "my fellow students". The support group of one's fellow students is important and different from the support an instructor can provide because there is always that instructor/student gap. It's sometimes easier to discuss and throw ideas around to someone who isn't your instructor. And sharing like experiences and Aikido successes is better with someone of your own ability and experience. And with people you feel you can easily interrupt when you have an idea to throw out...
It's a combination of them both, but another point to think of is that the students reflect the instructor and therefore the dojo community also reflects the instructor(s). But I think its the students that keep that community building.