Some thoughts about Joaquin:
* Although the SFMR supports Cat 5, no other data does (i.e. pressure, satellite signature, flight level winds, dropsondes) and it might have been transient in nature. 135 kt seems reasonable, although 130 kt could also be justified.
* I like how the NHC mentioned the communications difficulties and how they used the "key messages" to speak out. It should be standard practice when there are such challenges in the forecast, or when a severe hurricane is threatening (i.e. starting 48 to 72 hours out but before any watches are necessary). With some storms like Sandy, they should start as far out as 4 or 5 days away.
* I think the portion from October 11 to dissipation should be reviewed. I think that it may have been a (sub)tropical storm, and not extratropical, off the coast of Portugal, looking at the structure and phase analysis. Hence, I would consider that it became a TC once again at 1200Z October 11, until dissipation.