With this information in hand: Thoughts on the best combinations? Also, thoughts on which 'pair' of 11-member builds would be good for transitioning a handful of companions to lords?Yeah, a plan for using (almost?) all the companions and transitioning the optimal ones to lords would be great.
Hmm, poked it a bit and came up with this pair:
Boadice and Roland have high leadership skill, Frederick and Lethaldrin have badass special troops, so they all make great lords. The two parties have only 4 members in common (Diev, Leslie, Sara, and Sigismund). The second group is the lowest level party possible, containing both of the level 1 party members, allowing for maximum flexibility/customizability. Since you'll be at a high level yourself when you transition, it should be relatively easy to level up. The initial group is the second highest level group possible, containing several total badasses (*coughlethalcough*), which will assist you in the initial part of the game.
Oh, can anyone confirm that if you promote non-nobles to Lord before hiring on noble lords, there won't be any complaints?