Cheechoo is a pure goal scorer and i'll take a pure goal scorer over a playmaker anyday. Cheech also learned a lot from Mike Ricci in terms of work ethic and grinding along the boards which i feel is an invaluable asset to have.
Both guys are different players with another player being on their line...Elias with Gomez and Thornton with Cheechoo. Both guys weren't nearly the same player before those guys joined the team/returned from injury. At least Gomez had Gionta before Elias returned.
Gomez was extremely hot before Elias returned. No doubt he makes him better but to say his stats rely solely on Elias is a mistake. He scored 5 straight goals for the Devils in 2 games, prior to Elias' return.
The thing that has impressed me the most about him this season is he is turning into a goal scorer. He has always had a good shot and coaches have always tried to get him to shoot. He is finally listening and is being rewarded.
I haven't seen enough about Cheechoo to comment but from what I've heard he seems like a pretty good player. I guess I have to agree with it depends on what your team needs.