It needed polishing. We say it every single time it comes up. But a script where the story is coherent and the characters motivations are understand make an infinitely better foundation.
Sorry, Hicks. This is an argument that neither ends nor makes progress. On the one hand, the Spaihts script seems more coherent than Lindelof's mess. On the other, the Spaihts script has its share of dumb/bad/inexplicable elements that may or may not have been fixed before or during filming. You and others seem sure that the problems with the Spaihts script would have been fixed in a satisfying way. Yet, Scott was very happy to make Lindelof's mess. So, there is every reason to think he might have changed things in a way that would have made a film using the Spaihts script worse than the script itself suggests. But we will still never know as the film from the Spaihts script was never made.
I have read the synopsis of the Spaihts script and I generally liked it. Both would be flawed to an extent. But I generally agree it really comes down to a personal preference. It's like Jurassic Park movie vs the novel. They are different in many ways, some are more appealing than others. The movie is loosely based on the book's main points, but is quite different, even between the character's journeys.
One thought: Scott is privy to knowledge from FOX as to what they want to do with the franchise. It is perfectly plausible to believe that he made Prometheus, flawed and all, with full knowledge that he would do sequel movies, parallel to ALIEN or prequel(s), and further explain the plot holes, decisions and events that unfolded in the film. Remember, FOX holds the rights so any interviews they do are still subject to what they've given rights to discuss.
Can't wait for the next podcast. I feel like you've got one for each movie's alternate, runner-up scripts.