I hate when you buy a top coat and it's awful.  It seems like each of them has their own drawbacks.  There are so many different options out there it's hard to figure out which is the one for you.  The worst is when you do some cool nail art and the very thing that is supposed to protect it, smears it.  That makes me so mad!  I've tried out several different ones for that reason alone.

I decided to do an experiment.  I took 10 different top coats, put one on each finger and took some notes.  I used a generous coat of Cult Nails Get it On base coat on each nail and painted two coats of China Glaze White on White.

Here are the categories I judged each on:
-Thickness: score 1-3★ (1 being thin and 3 being as thick as Seche Vite)
-Dry time: score 1-5★ (1 being not dry and 5 dry to the touch), each top coat was allowed to dry for 1 minute, then I lightly brushed over it with my finger to test how dry it was
-Smearage: score 1-5★ (1 being lots of smearing and 5 being none) for 3 dots of Sally Hansen Black Out, a stripe of Milani black nail art polish and a dot of China Glaze Liquid Leather (each will get their own score), these were allowed to dry for a minimum of one minute before the top coat was applied
-Shrinkage: score 1-5★ (1 lots of shrinkage, 5 no shrinkage)
-Shine: score 1-5★ (1 not so shiny, 5 very shiny), each was scored at the beginning and again at the end
-Overall wear: score 1-5★ (1 poor with lots of wear and/or chipping, 5 excellent wear with no chipping)

For the smearage test each nail has one, big black dot of China Glaze Liquid Leather, a stripe of Milani black nail art polish and three small dots of Sally Hansen Black Out.  I wore this full manicure for three full days, plus a couple hours.  The top coats I chose to test are China Glaze Fast Forward, Cult Nails Wicked Fast, Hard Candy Matte-ly In Love, INM Out the Door, Jordana Quick Dry, Jordana Quick Shine, OPI DS Top Coat, Orly Sec 'n Dry, Poshe and Seche Vite.  Below, I've posted a bunch of pictures and my findings.  Click on the pictures to enlarge them if you want to see the details.

These are in alphabetical order, so first up is China Glaze Fast Forward.

China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat:
Finger: left thumb
Thickness: ★ ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★ ★ ★ ★, M ★ ★, CG ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★

I find this to be the smelliest of them all.  Peeeeeeugh!  I can smell it on my nails hours later.

*free of DBP, Toulene and added Formaldehyde

I purchased this at Sally Beauty.

Cult Nails Wicked Fast Speed Dry Top Coat:
Finger: right middle
Thickness: ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, M ★ ★ ★, CG ★ ★ ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★ ★

*4 free and cruelty free

I purchased this from Cult Nails.

Hard Candy Matte-ly In Love:
Finger: left pinkie
Thickness: ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★, M ★, CG ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★, end ★ ★ (being that it's matte, you want low scores, right?)
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I purchased this at WalMart.

INM Out the Door:
Finger: right index
Thickness: ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★, M ★, CG ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★ ★

*3 Free

I purchased this at Sally Beauty.

Jordana Quick Dry Topcoat:
Finger: left ring
Thickness: ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, M ★, CG ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★
Overall wear: ★

*DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free

I purchased this from Jordana Cosmetics.

Jordana Quick Shine Topcoat:
Finger: left index
Thickness: ★ ★ ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ (if you look closely at the picture you can see where it smudged when I tested it)
Smearage: SH ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, M ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, CG ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★

This is the top coat I use most often.  I find it to be very comparable to Seche Vite.

*DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free

I purchased this from Jordana Cosmetics.

OPI DS Top Coat:
Finger: right ring
Thickness: ★ ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★ ★, M ★, CG ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★ ★

I also tested this one on a couple holos and compared it to Jordana Quick Shine to see if the OPI enhanced the holo effect since evidently it is infused with diamond dust.  I found no greater holo effect with OPI DS Top Coat.

*Contains no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde

I purchased this at Peerless Beauty.

Orly Sec 'n Dry:
Finger: right pinkie
Thickness: ★ ★
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★, M ★, CG ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★ ★

*Free of DBP, Formaldehyde & Toluene

I purchased this at Sally Beauty.

Poshé:
Finger: left middle
Thickness: ★ ★+
Dry time: ★ (smudged when I tested it)
Smearage: SH ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, M ★ ★ ★ ★, CG ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★ ★

*Formaldehyde, Toluene and Phthalate free

I purchased this at Sally Beauty.

Seche Vite:
Finger: right thumb
Thickness: ★ ★ ★+ (gets super thick as it ages)
Dry time: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Smearage: SH ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, M ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, CG ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shrinkage: ★ ★ ★ ★
Shine: begin ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, end ★ ★ ★
Overall wear: ★ ★ ★ ★

I purchased this at Sally Beauty.

 

So there you have it folks!  It's not a pretty mani, but I learned a lot and hope it was informative for you as well.  Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

*The previous statements were solely based on my own opinions and experiences and were unsolicited.