Here's my idea of a perfect BC: I put it on, it holds my tank during my dive and during the dive, I hardly notice it's there. When I need an occasional squirt of air, the result doesn't fiddle with my attitude (position) in the water. Rather, it maintains it and helps stabilize me. I need to be able to use it whether I'm on dawn patrol in the tropics or donning a drysuit for some cold-water prowling. And it's gotta take up a minimal amount of space in the dive bag. Oh, there's one final thing: I hate weight belts. That's definitely one thing you won't find in my dive bag. So, my BC has to have an easy-to-use weight-integration system.
A few years ago, a friend of mine from my tiny American high school in England (graduating class of 52 people -- it's true) designed and patented (for Sea Quest) a modular removable weight pocket for Sea Quest BCs and put the new feature in a BC called the QuickDraw. I brought out the old high-school photos and managed to "convince" him to let me test an early model. I loved it. But around the same time, I was getting pretty serious about underwater photography and coveted a streamlined, low-drag BC that offered more freedom of movement in the front. I wanted a back-mount BC. A couple years later, Sea Quest came out with the first version of the Balance BC, a back-mount air-cell, low-profile, minimalist BC -- and it had the integrated-weight system. Naturally, I traded in my QuickDraw for the Balance (again, with judicious use of the high-school photos) and have had that very Balance BC in my dive bag ever since.
When I dive, my old Balance BC holds my tank, I hardly notice it's there, the integrated weight pockets are still going strong, and when I need a little buoyancy assistance, the rear air cell keeps me in a well-balanced position, which is all, and exactly, what I need in a BC. Sea Quest has (of course) since designed an improved version of the Balance BC, with an even better integrated-weight system and materials. But my high-school friend has since moved on, rendering those blackmail photos useless. So, if anyone out there has "persuasive" photos of Sea Quest's new engineers