Minezumi is essentially bidoof 2.0 to me, and as such, I grabbed him for the HM's only.
I agree that hte monkies are high tier when you give then cheer up. +2 from my current grass monkey allows it to OHKO sooo many things it's hilarious. Not to mention that with fury swipes early on I can practically dominate with decent coverage.
IMO, the fire starter is amazing, and works wonders in the beginning alongside the grass monkey. come lvl. 17 his dual typing is so epic that your pretty much already set for the next gym.
I hate smugleaf. With a burning passion. As soon as I fought against that thing, and it crossed it's arms as my fire pig couldn't burn it's ass at the time, I gre insta-hate for it. I also think it's stats are ass, IMO, but can be played around with. Not a great starter IMO.
Water starter I think is second best to my fire pig. It does indeed have great coverage, and can usually deal with alot of things in the starting portion (although other pokes are need to support it).