A few months ago, I had two Atlantis sets in my collection: 8057 Wreck Raider and 8073 Manta Warrior, for an aggregate total of three figs. When I had Lance Spears appear on Aquazone Breakfast News, I borrowed him from my brother. The situation has changed in the last couple months, however, and the two sets present a somewhat interesting contrast.
On the one hand, I got 8058 Guardian of the Deep for Christmas. This is a smaller-medium sized set, with one minifig ("Bobby Buoy") and an outrageously large shark that is apparently intended to be bionic (this might have been slightly more apparent in the following picture if I had applied the stickers).
Shortly before Christmas, however, I picked up 30042 "Mini Sub". Like "Guardian of the Deep," this set comes with one explorer minifig (in this case, I now have my very own Lance Spears), but where "Guardian of the Deep" has an enormous bionic shark, "Mini Sub" is a polybag with a... mini-sub.
What's interesting about comparing these two sets is what a different number of minifigs can make in evaluating sets. For a set the size of "Guardian of the Deep," one minifig seems a little sparse, while this is solidly expected of a polybag. The contrast between these two sets also emphasizes the importance of set-design. While "Mini Sub" isn't the most innovative design in LEGO's vault, it is a cute little set. Speaking as someone whose entire Aquazone collection is composed of "Mini Subs," this Atlantis set holds up with the best of them, and even uses a bit of snot in effecting its design. The giant shark, on the other hand... fills like filler.
So does a polybag trump a small-medium set worth 4-5 times as much? In this case, yes.