I'm planning on starting a playthrough pretty soon, but I have some questions before I begin:
For in-game consideration only, which version should I choose? The Japanese copy that I begin playing now will surely not be the game card that I use for VGC prep next year, so I just want the version that has the best Pokemon available for in-game purposes early on. For example, I consider Heart Gold to be "easier" than Soul Silver for in-game purposes because Caterpie (who evolves into Compound Eyes + Sleep Powder Butterfree) is available earlier. Is there anything that separates the two games early on?
Life is too short to waste time training Pokemon that have a low performance/effort yield. See this thread for more detailed info/explanation.
I don't want to try using something like Dratini that's going to be playing catch-up for most of the game, or waste my time with something like pidgey that will become obsolete very quickly. Are there any Pokemon out there that are simply too good to pass up? In order for me to justify using something other than the starter, it needs to be exceptionally good, like Nidoran in RBY or Geodude in GSC.
On a somewhat related note, I found the following to be very surprising/confusing:
Is this really true? In every single Pokemon game I've ever played (sans Yellow), your starter invariably ends up being one of the most useful in the game and most people (myself included) use the starter for the entire game. I usually play games by using the starters exclusively, but is there something about Black/White that makes it different from previous games in this regard? I'm also unsure as to which starter to choose. Which starter should I select for an efficient playthrough? If there's not a clear "best" starter, then I'd like to at least know which is the "worst," since I don't want to pick the equivilant of Treecko or Chikorita.