I was talking with a friend at a studio last week when this guy came in. He supposedly has a 14 year old son who is a prodigy, to which my friend agreed. He said he could not get his son to practice because everything came so easily to him.I responded, there is something implicit in music that one needs to struggle with it to truly understand it.Blasphemy! J/K. This has been my take all along on the whole issue. Technique vs. feel is a false dichotomy.
A lot of people want to be like Harry Potter - the chosen one who has magical abilities not derived from hard work. Its a fiction. Gadd is Gadd because he practiced his behind off. Steamer is Steamer, Colonel is Colonel, Smith is Smith, Average is Average, all based on the amount of work we have put into the instrument. There is no magic. What you said about having ugly duckling students turn into pros is SO true, not just of drumming but of everything in life. Desire and drive are 95% of success.
I agree that talent is desire and love, If you don't have that desire, you will never put the time in to become a truly gifted musician.