The HD on the other hand was very "complete" and everything seemed to fit with what I would expect for a $23k + motorcycle. I realize there is a huge difference in $'s available for product development between these two companies, but to me these could be a deal breaker.
Oh, heck, I'll chime in.
About fit and finish, I mostly agree.
It's all what you're looking for in a bike.
After visiting Vic dealers and the Vic area at the NYC show a couple of years, I actually grew to like the Vision. When it first came out, I thought it was too Buck Rodgers for my taste. However, when I compared the room in the Vision's topcase and -- especially -- saddlebags with the XCT, well, THAT was a deal breaker for me (and so I bought the XCT). When I do multi-day trips with my wife, we need all the room we can get. I suppose I could buy a trailer for those trips, but I don't want to spend that money just yet. My point? Deal breakers come in all kinds of flavors.
I owned a Valkyrie Interstate for seven years, and spent a couple of thousand on aftermarket shiny bits. And that's out of my system now.
I ride all sorts of Harleys every year at Americade (which is less than an hour north of where I live). I really like the fact that HD lets you take the bikes out on your own for the demo rides (except for the V-Rods). And I have a Harley dealer about five minutes from my house. (A Vic dealer is about 20 minutes away, but I bought my XCT about 160 miles away -- different story).
However, I never felt really comfortable on an HD. I'm not a big guy -- 5'9", 30" inseam -- but I felt cramped on even the biggest Harleys. The floorboard length is way longer on the XCT. I know, you can get highway pegs, but I don't need to on the Vic, and so my feet are never that far away from the controls.
If you do your own maint, having to put oil in two places on the HDs could be a deal breaker. The Vic is great for DIY maint... except for the fuel filter and air filter.
Handling and ground clearance is much better on the Vics. If you're a fan of serious twisties, that could be a deal breaker against getting an HD.
IMHO, Harleys are
more finished and polished, and have better paint. The Motor Company has had a long time to perfect that stuff, and it shows. They've had a long time to perfect their engines, and it doesn't
show. Go figure.
I'm not particularly fond of the cables and switchgear on the Vics, or of the rear master cylinder, or how you add air to the rear shock on the XCTs. Or Vic's dropping the HID for the '13 and '14 XCTs. Or how you can't bring the bars back on an XCT using just risers. Or the slop in my shift lever; I bought new OEM sleeves for that a few weeks ago, and will put them on before riding season starts for me.
But after two seasons and 18,000+ miles, the XCT has been stone cold reliable for me, and handles great on the highway and in the twisties. And has a very low C of G and let's me easily flat-foot it at stops; those are the primary reasons I got rid of my Valkyrie after seven seasons, i.e., that was yet another flavor of deal breaker.
So, yes, you're right, the HDs probably do a better job in the fit-and-finish department. But in order to come up with a deal breaker, you have to ask yourself what's critical to you in a bike, how do you use it, and so forth. If it's fit-and-finish, hard to go wrong with a Harley.