I think choose ship on their naval record, would be much more silly, because you know when a ship sink IRL, the result it's not only one man who die. :/
Also because it's like conduct an experimental experience, without had the same condition at the begining (russian front was not the same front than for other nation etc..) for me it's pointless to debate to find what ship was the best or make a top ten ship.
So yeah, WG didn't choose this argument to find what ship they will introduce next time, however WG also know the hype for some ship you probably like, but you probably know how it's work. #Warspite...
You know for Russian/Soviet tree, WG have already release 6 premium ship for this nation, i was a little mad to could only play soviet free DD and if WG would not have create a soviet tree with free ship, i would probably never start this game.
Yeah i know it's a selfish tough, but like you wanted, RN, i wanted soviet ship and now i play with other nation (even if i still play more soviet than other nation).
Said that i totaly understand you, you wanted RN first, but WG choose soviet first for russianfanboy like me.
It's a stupid strategy ? Hard to said, because some player come from WOT and yeah they want soviet ship. =o
For the part "civilized discussions" i am kind disagree, with your point, internet is a huge data base and it's really difficult to have right on all the line.
Like said russian navy was bad, you will alway have someone you will be disagree with you and find source to prove it.
You could said generaly russian navy was bad, but it's a very difficult exercice to prove it, because like i said previously russian was differant. :/
But yeah you have a point, when you said other nation have a better navy, but like anime some people have strange passion and other people don't like Code Geass or Death Note like, shame on me. :=