Smith is almost universally recognised as the world's best hooker and one of the greatest hookers of all time, so I think you're a bit wide of the mark on that point.
I also think the Australian second row is much stronger than ours (assuming that Sam Burgess plays prop or lock).
True, but this year he has been ok - not the superstar of old.
Too much emphasise is being placed on "names". Slater, Smith, Cronk have been good this year, but not "the best" by a long shot, and by no means better than any of the players mentioned.