My main point is this:
Lars went from playing this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=eZSjCQiaL...eeping%20Death
To playing this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hzq7hBeU2...20Death%20live
and went from this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wyt0H9pKZ...puppets%20live
to this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=rQKhc6IKi...puppets%20live
Notice the use of the china Ulrich87.
One can certainly gather that Lars is far from his peak. He's only about 42 years old, and should still be able to perform well. Like Dave Lombardo said, he could just be having trouble as Dave did on the Seasons in the Abyss tour, but whatever the problem, Lars has to realize that he is the timekeeper for the biggest band in the world. The others, aside from James Hetfield, whose voice has faltered (which was destroyed during the recording of the "Black" Album), have not shown any signs of being unable to play. I seem to recall readin on this post that Lars viewed Metallica as a business; if so, it is quite clear why his playing is not so.