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If preliminary 101/112 issues were resolved before the 1st OA (e.g., over the phone / via e-mail), then applicants may have a better chance to overcome cited art / come to a resolution before an RCE is needed.
I generally favor an RCE over an appeal because I might be able to resolve the case faster with an RCE as opposed to an appeal. If the appeal process were faster, I might favor an appeal, instead.