I recently had a bit of a self realization regarding this. To use a quick analogy: It's like picking a really badass katana that was made just for you over a gun that looks like shit. Pick the gun if you don't like dying all the time OK?
That said, I'd like to point out that Yoshinori Ono (and Capcom designers in general) want a little imbalance among the tiers. I said it before -- I'll say it again -- Ono (and probably others) have gone on record as saying that that's what they want: Imbalance.
Reason? A lot of players like the wacky underdog. Who doesn't root for Chikyuu when he plays Anakaris/Twelve/R4-Raiden/etc? Everyone loves to see the bottom tier just beast the hell out of that asshole top tier, they just do!
Meanwhile, a lot of players get stuck on a character in a game because they just "like that character". And then suddenly they have complaints. Either because the top tier is too common or too strong or they see too many weaknesses in their own character. But to the rest of the world: If you have a PROBLEM with your character then pick another character, even if that problem happens to be that yours is inadequate compared to another. If the only reason you're picking that character is because you just happen to really like them then shut the fuck up because you bring it on yourself. Choose preference or power, but don't complain, you chose it willingly. If tiers matter to you then pick top tier. Do not expect the rest of the world to play mid/low just for you, the world does not revolve around you. To use another quick analogy: Between soda pop and V8, you might enjoy drinking soda and everyone thinks it's cool, but you're really not as healthy or strong as the lame V8 drinkers and that's that.
What you don't want: Single god tier character (like #R Eddie)
What you do want: As close to 3 definitive tiers as you can get (high/mid/low)
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