Most of these questions were answered in old forums,so I'll re post here,as accurate as I can..(short answers) until official statements are made..
It's my understanding Rick Hunter could not be found for this project.not that RWS didn't want him used..
Why Akella? I believe there are a few factors here money,resources,etc..and from my understanding the Akella relationship started out good,and went sour..
as far as Vince,well.. Vince is great as always.. he visits the forums weekly,and gives shouts.. as well as replying to any emails that are sent his way..all about the fans m8..