Re: Mike Portnoy
i can see where youre coming from. a lot of people dont like the whole technical idea and are much more into the groove of it. but i think that portnoy definitely is a more technical drummer than peart, whether you think technical outweighs the passion and the feel of the music, i think thats a matter of personal choice.
as for ripping off other bands, though... dream theaters first album debuted in 1989, while rage wasnt even together until 1992. not saying that they couldnt rip off rage in their later years, but they had a lot of material by that time without even ever hearing of the band. and i have never heard anything that sounds like a tool or pantera ripoff, nor have i ever heard anyone say that before.
and i agree that mike portnoy takes influence from neal peart. but that doesnt mean that he cant be a better drummer than him. but, again, that comes down to personal choice - which style appeals more personally to you.
and i guess saying neal peart had "potential" was misused. what i meant was he had a lot of talent, but mike portnoy is still better.