Re: Mike Portnoy
Mike has been my favourite drummer for 3 years now. He's very creative and he inspires me a lot. You can recognize him instantly, often because of his chops.
Even though his my favourite drummer, I don't think his a top technique drummer. There are many with better techinque. The thing is that Mike really freaks you out with his chops and odd-time signatures playing but is not that hard to get if you listen to his music for a long time, because style is very predictable once you get it.
I'm still a fan of his style but I'm always listening to other drummers because Mikes influence is so undeniable that if you listen too much to him, you'll end up making his chops every time, and that's his style, not yours.
In closing, Mikes is one of the best drummers the way I see it (creative and technically) but there are others with an awesome playing too!!!