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I don't know that I can say what operator is "best" since I just returned from my first dive experience on Oahu, but I can tell you that I used Deep Ecology in Haleiwa (on the North Shore, about a 45 min drive from Waikiki). I was pleased with the service they provided. On two of the three days I dove, I was the only one getting the guided tour - just me and the DM/Instructor. I did all shore dives at Firehouse and Shark's Cove, including one night dive. They also run boat dives. They have an 800 number you can call - talk to Pat (shop opens for business at 9am...Hawaii is 3 hours behind West Coast time) or you can fill out a booking request at the web site.
Can't help you with Kona since I haven't done any diving there.
FWIW, Deep Ecology was recommended to me by a local diver.
Last edited by navy85; June 22nd, 2003 at 03:51 PM.