... I firmly disagree with the idea that Picard's commitment to duty, honour, and obligation is a veneer. A 'cocky' Picard (who can handwave theft, vandalism, and the destruction of most of what archaeological science holds dear for profit from a longterm partner?) is not a Picard that I'd even recognise, tbh.
This wasn't my implication at all, about his "veneer." I'm just saying that this is only the surface layer. Underneath is a man with a wild streak. A wild streak so kept in check that no one else seems to know its there, but Vash does. Not only does she recognize it, but she's very turned on by it. If Picard were just a stodgy, StarFleet Company Man, I suspect he'd have no chance at all, of getting someone like Vash. Both of them also had archeology in common, though their approaches weren't quite similar. However, at the end of the day, you're right, there's no "argument" about any of this stuff. It's all pretend. But as characters go, Vash and Picard seemed to me, and others, to compliment eachother very well. It's a shame Vash went the way of so many other assorted Guest Stars, but wow ... what a memorable impact she made! Especially, on the Good Captain.