Sorry for not replying. As for the english version, I actually like the funimation version. I hate the 4kids version, but the voicesi n the funimation works well. I love the soundtrack and they kept it which is probably the most important thing for that series.
I love the japanese version, probably even prefer it, but I read the manga mostly so I can stay up to date. I've been reading it weekly since 2005, pretty crazy when I think about it.
Anyway, my favorite arc would be Alabasta as well. Water 7 comes in a close second though. The fights in Enies Lobby weren't as good though, IMO