just took a look at the post on here and one thing i have to add to your topic is that there is no such thing as the best gundog overall......plain and simple
I believe that it all depends on the type of ground your shooting over that should dictate your dog......simple observation but a valuable one. SEE my piont been, more water work shooting, rough shooting heavey cover, rough shooting with light cover, if its a general all round performer your looking for then the springer or cocker will be good choices, if the land your shooting on is light cover ,rushes fern's etc then i'd say think about the german shorthaired pointer, but they can be troublesome, always look for attention, can be destructive if not getting out alot, but will run all day range anywhere stop point flush, so you know were your bird is going to be, on the other hand the springer is a little grafter, very good at going to heavey cover, but gets easily tired if working in long grass rushes etc as he has only one speed and it's all or nothing. For the heavey cover over a long period 2 speed dog searching slow and steady, scent flat out, the cocker only seems to bound in when somethig is in the cover for certain. will work alot longer than the springer. For duck shooting etc the lab simple. just my humble opinion people, think which ground you mainly shoot over cover wise then choose the dog..... good luck and enjoy no matter what you choose.