I recently read something that made me a little discouraged, but it's something I've known since playing BG2. Apparently there is a "specific team" for the game, the Canon NPCs, Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc and Dynaheir (Imoen too but she's is your conection with everything so whatever). This is not noticeable in BG1, but in BG2 is evident. It's even inconsistent with your version of the CHARNAME story. For exemple, if my party is evil obviously i'll not use the canons, because they aren't compatible with my... "ideology". You are not required to take these npcs with you on BG2, I know, but I still think it would be much better if they do not quote you as a acquaintance and friend, a travel partner that you have never been.
My party considering the NPCs I like the game and the ones I wanted to have:
Rasaad - Is too weak in BG but very powerful in BG2 (especially against Clay Golems)
Priest of Lathander (created)
Imoen - best thief in BG1 (Alora is too late) and, with some mods, a good thief/mage in BG2
Neera - i simply love Neera
BG (with NPCs)
Ajantis (everywhere has a sense of evil about it to him)
Rasaad - same, he's a good NPC
Branwen - By Tempus's shield!
Imoen - same
Neera - same