I really didn't want to reply to a loaded question like this one, but here goes:
>>But consider this scenario: Your at cruise altitude and it ALL goes wrong (IE UAL 232).
Who would you rather have on the flight deck with you? Your F.O. or an A&P? Who knows their plane better? <<
The F/O. He (or she) is trained for in-flight emergency procedures in regards to the operational safety of the aircraft.
The A&P may have a better overall picture of the entire aircraft and its systems, but the pilots are going to know the best way to get the aircraft on the ground in one piece.
>>Definitely the F.O. He knows the plane much better.<<
I had to chuckle at this one. Reminds me of a situation a few years ago where a newby F/O was doing his preflight and found a clear fluid leaking out of the belly at two locations. Thinking it was fuel, and wanting to play hero of the day, he wrote it up in the book and called it in to MTC control. As the call from MTC control came in to one of my co-workers, it interested me to go out and take a look, as well as one of the MTC supervisors.
To make a long story short, the fluid was condensation from the AC packs, normal operation. The captain showed up right after we did, sized up the situation and took his Flap Operator aside and proceded chew some serious ass.
Once the tongue lashing was complete, the very embarrassed captain thanked us for coming out. We signed the log the best we could without making anyone look stupid, and left.
We laughed about that one for months.