I was reviewing and editing this question that I asked long ago and I want to complete my research on it. Back then my issues with it were not reasonably settled. One key issue was that how the three hadiths from at-Tirmidhi which state that Aisha and Abu Bakr were the most beloved individuals to the Holy Prophet (ص) were all narrated by a questionable companion Amr ibn As who is known for his hatred of Ali and war against him in addition to his wars against the Prophet (ص) before the conquest of Mecca.
I want to see whether there are other narrations, preferably reliable, in Sunni ahadith that state the same thing about Aisha and Abu Bakr and probably other companions to the exclusion of Ali, Fatima and Bani Hashim in general but from a route other than Amr ibn As. I don't remember whether I surveyed Bukhari and Muslim on this. So help would be appreciated.