I've lurked about these threads for a while and love all the advice people are getting, so I figured I'd seek the same help.
I cannot make up my mind on a protagonist to play and have restarted multiple times. Some criteria I'd like to work towards:
1. I would definitely like a character I can play through the whole saga.
2. Are Jaheira and Minsc musts because of the amount of involvement/interactions they have in the game?
3. I do like Neera as the "good" Edwin, a dedicated mage.
4. I would like a capable thief for all the thieving things (this could be protagonist or NPC)
5. Aerie appeals to me as a Cleric/Mage.
6. Trying to keep "core" party of 5 so the 6th person can be flexible for their quests and whatnot.
7. Prefer to have a tank, healer, thief, mage, and bowman (OK if a character covers multiple, like Aerie)
8. If Minsc is in party, I'll be EEKeepering him to Archer
9. Not a fan of Imoen as Thief > Mage, and really just in general for BG2.
I think at a minimum, Neera and Aerie will be in my BG2 party as my spellcasters. I am obviously open to suggestions for what seems realistic and what I just need to get over my bad self with.