If the fellowship could have only eight members, who would you leave behind??
I decided to leave out Legolas, because when I was trying to who decide who I thought they could complete the story without, he was the only one who I couldn't find someone else to do his job. Aragorn could speak Elvish to Haldir on the edge of Lothlorien; he could also befriend Gimli; being a ranger he might have spotted the crebain in Hollin and got the party undercover without being spotted; and he also had a bow.
Still, now I'm try to remember Gimli's critical contributions: his axework helped Aragorn hold the gate at Helm's Deep while it was strengthened from the inside; Legolass's bow or knife wouldn't have been as much help there. Boromir's betrayal helped make up Frodo's mind to go on alone; Pippin saved Faramir's life; Merry helped Eruwen slay the Nazgul Witch King; Gandalf got them past the Balrog; Aragorn saved Gondor by disrupting the Pirates of Umbar with the oathbreakers; Frodo and Sam got the Ring to Mount Doom. What were Legolass's critical contribution? I don't know.
This is a good poll because it makes us think.