In terms of being so far ahead of the race, I would definetly say that Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of the modern age. I know this is a bold statement, and I mean it in respects to Buddy Rich, but the thing is as time goes on the drummers are getting better and better and it's slightly niaeve to keep looking back at what HAPPENED when so many new innovations and techniques are happening NOW. That's not to say we shouldn't look back, and keep in mind this IS just my opinion, but I think someone like Virgil, who is the best example of dedication, is leagues beyond anyone else. Guys say he overplays, but I would almost PROMISE you that tons of guys said the same thing about Buddy, and we've even seen it with Weckl, and Coliauta in their time.
Now the question is who's the next Virgil Donati
And I would really rather not make this a huge flame war, and I'm pretty sure I came off too opinionated, so if this thread turns out to be a bad Idea it should probably be deleted.