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Subject: 〜に越したことはない
From: Brandin (chaotic_thoughtyahoo.com)
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 23:59:26 GMT

From goo.ne.jp, "Xにこしたことはない” seems to mean "there's nothing better than X" :
こす 【越す/超す】: (5)(「…にこす」の形で)…よりも優れる。…よりもよい。
「給料は高いに―・したことはない」 (Nothing beats a good salary) [My translation]

Seems simple enough, but with the following sentence I read in an article, I somehow feel uncertain about the expression 「〜にこす」 along with 「それより」:

英語ができるにこしたことはありませんが、それより大切なことは相手に対する気持ちだと思います。 (http://www.japanese-nihongo.com/experiences/74kotani2.html)

With 「それより」 right after 「〜にこしたことはない」, the author seems to be saying there IS something better than X (英語ができる). Is this contradictory, or am I just overthinking it?

My translation (Revisions/commentary appreciated):
(There's nothing like being able to speak English proficiently, but I believe it's even more important to understand the other person's feelings.)

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