Which PhD program would you choose:
1) a program with a better reputation (i.e., higher ranking, better placement record) but with no faculty who are really jazzed or knowledgeable about your dissertation interest
2) a program where the faculty are all about your dissertation interest/ strong "gut" feeling connections were made but the program has little or no reputation or placement record
Keeping in mind, of course, that dissertation interests may change in the course of the program. But it's that old question, should one suffer for one's art or take the safer road with the bigger institutional name? Fully funded at both programs. Liked both programs. But made stronger connecton with the faculty at the weaker program.