I know a lot of people have started forums like this, but I would like to express my opinion as well and see what others have to say as well. This is pretty long, but I would love it if you would take to time to read through my rant.
I believe Kagome is better. Why? She's kind, compassionate, and caring. Kikyo, I admit, is definitely very powerful and very beautiful, but Kagome is in her own way as well. Even though she's not the best in the battlefield, she's strong in spirit and love. She stands by her friends and loved ones even when times get hard. She cries because she's compassionate. She's not great at fighting because she lived in present day Japan, where the most she had to worry about was schoolwork.
This leads me to my next point. To those who are saying that Kikyo is much better because she went through so much conflict, that's like saying that one person is more likable than another because they struggle more. Why am I making this analogy? Because I'm saying that it doesn't matter how MUCH hardship you go through, but how you deal with it. Kikyo loved Inuyasha, and had to deal with loving a half-demon. How did she handle it? She asked Inuyasha to become full human. Not only does this demonstrate that she didn't love Inuyasha for exactly who he was, but it shows that she didn't want to face everyone else and fess up to her feelings.
Kagome, on the other hand, was forcibly taken from her home, had a responsibility that she had no idea how to handle thrust upon her, and had to deal with everyone expecting her to live up to Kikyo's reputation. How did she handle it? She stayed in the Feudal area, even when she accidentally shattered the Jewel, and didn't run away from her mistakes. She could have fled back to her time and refused return even if Inuyasha dragged her back. Instead, she traveled around trying her best to fix what she had done. She was under no obligation to do so. Yes, she was born on the shrine. Yes, she shattered the Jewel. Yes, she is Kikyo's reincarnation. But she didn't HAVE to stay and help. She wasn't born to protect the Jewel. She wasn't raised from childhood as a priestess. She wasn't ever trained to use her purification powers. But she stayed and tried to help out anyway.
My second case I'd like to argue: Kikyo vs Kagome on the battlefield. So many of you are saying that Kagome is so weak and useless and annoying. But if you were in her position, what could you have done? Nothing. Why do I know this? Everyone here is an anime nerd, including myself, otherwise we wouldn't even be arguing this point. None of us were raised in the military, navy, or in a warring zone. A few of us might have taken Karate classes or Archery lessons, but if you were forced into a life-or-death situation, I guarantee that none of us could have done anything more than Kagome had. Kikyo was born into her duty and had been trained as a priestess ever since she was born, as I had mentioned before. There is no other reason why she is better in the fighting zone. Therefore, your argument is invalid.
Also, Kagome is more likable in the sense that she was created to be more like the readers/watchers ourselves. She was born in present day Japan, was a regular school girl, and went through boy trouble (or girl trouble if you're a guy). This alone should have appealed you to Kagome more. She did nothing any of us wouldn't have done. She was thrown into a world simply because the Jewel of Four Souls decided to make an appearance in her. She never asked for this responsibility, so those of you who make the argument that she's weak and useless, please shut up. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.
I admit, Kagome can be annoying. She does seem useless during fights, and she does always yell Inuyasha's name from the sidelines. But I'd like to revisit my claim from before, what more could she have done? What more could you have done? She did all that she could, and that's what counts. How would you like it if people were calling you useless because you were forced to do something you had no idea how to handle? Kagome always yelled Inuyasha's name because she was scared, and wouldn't you have been as well? Why would you blame her for being human and having human faults?
Now, onto my third case: Kagome does not hold grudges. She did not blame Kikyo for her renowned reputation pressing on her. She did not despise her because she loved Inuyasha, even though she herself had a crush on him from the beginning. She did not hate Kikyo because she was so much more talented than her at using her powers. Instead, the most she ever felt was a deep sadness, on that showed how she felt how many of you as observers are feeling toward herself. But did she ever try to kill Kikyo in cold blood as she did to her? Kikyo for a good part of the series tried to kill Inuyasha and drag him to hell for something that had happened over 50 years ago. I'll bet that if it was Kagome in her position, she would have just accepted that and forgiven Inuyasha, even though he technically didn't do anything. Plus, if Kikyo did love Inuyasha as she said she did, would she have been so quick to believe that he had betrayed her? Yes, Inuyasha is a demon, and demons are cold-hearted, but he is also half human. And that human side has compassion, and Kikyo should have believed that. Instead of trying to find out what really happened so that she could die in happiness, she sealed her "love" and died in bitterness, which ultimately led to Kagome having the Jewel in the first place.
I have many more points to make, but I believe I have expressed my opinion thoroughly. If I have offended anyone with my message, I apologize, as that was not my intention. I merely wanted to tell my thoughts on the matter, as everyone else here has done. Kikyo is not a bad person, but I think that it is wrong to rag on Kagome for her faults that are only human.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and I bid you farewell.