v To me, H!P started going more downhill after 2005-2006. 2003-2004 there was still a lot of good stuff going on! Ayaya, W, Mini Moni, Country Musume (ni Fujimoto to Konno), awesome one-shot groups like Aa!, ZYX (errrr, sort of one-shot), Nochiura Natsumi, the start of Nacchi as a soloist, beginning of Berryz, Morning Musume, and as you mentioned, Maki. I still love H!P, but I know they used to be better :( graduating Elder Club was a mistake......and with Dream Morning Musume the only difference between former H!P (now Up Front) artists & current H!P artists is the boyfriend rule. Lame.
I can't stand 続・美勇伝; their voices doesn't have harmony and they aren't half of awesome than the original unit was (I like Sayumi, though). I miss them so much, doesn anyone know if Erika is going to continue in the music scene? All I've heard is that she's appearing on plays or something.
the Ajisai Ai Ai single is probably my favourite h!p single of all time, b-side included.  I agree so much ♥ V-u-den is also like my fav H!P group ever, their songs are awesome, so sad they're gone =[