The debate of which hard fork of Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is better was answered long ago when Litecoin (LTC-USD) was launched. While not technically a hard fork of the Bitcoin network, Litecoin is an improved version of the core Bitcoin code. In essence, Litecoin is a lighter-weight, faster-executing version of the original.
The comparison between Litecoin and Bitcoin is simple to make - the choice easy from a user's standpoint. Bitcoin is limited to about 7 transactions per second, where Litecoin can do close to 60. Confirmations of Bitcoin transactions are erratic in their timing, where Litecoin transactions are confirmed instantly (more or less). It takes an average 78 minutes to complete a Bitcoin transaction, where Litecoin takes about 30. Costs for Bitcoin are going up, while the cost for Litecoin transactions stays low - as Bitcoin's usage increases and there is more demand for the network, the cost will only go up.