Newcomers to the qualitative method encounter a seemingly bewildering array of issues when taking their first steps in tackling a project of this type. Novices may well be confused by matters on which even expert commentators disagree and may find themselves confronting situations in which they realise that, by attending to one criterion, their actions will have an adverse effect on another. This paper addresses such debates and dilemmas in a follow-up to an article written by Shenton and Dixon on a similar theme. The original piece appeared in this journal some five years ago. The new work again draws on the authors' own experiences of inquiry and incorporates pertinent material from research methods literature. Although the problematic areas which are discussed relate to various parts of the research process, certain themes recur in the paper, especially that of ensuring quality in qualitative work. The article concludes by noting that researchers faced with the task of meeting seemingly contradictory criteria must strike an appropriate balance between them after due consideration of where the project's priorities lie.