Thanks for the update, my takeaway at this point is it's pretty much splitting hairs as to one being significantly better than the other. A couple of questions, though:
1. Are the two plants clones, or seedlings from different seeds? If not, my guess (and given my vast ignorance, it's a WAG) is that other factors could come into play to account for the differences in plant/leaf/fruit size and numbers when using different source material (i.e., seeds). Am I at all right?
2. Assuming, that the two plants are close enough for it to be a wash, what are the advantages/disadvantages between the two systems? As I noted above, your wicking system would seem to used much less soil/medium and have a bigger reservoir. And easier to make with only one bucket. Any pluses to the traditional self-watering method? Could I use soil with the wicking system should I not want to get into hydroponics?
Thanks again, I am learning lots.