Re: John Bonham
I haven't read all of the posts in this very long thread, but one thing that has been mostly missing (I've seen only one post on it) is that Bonham had a great swing to his playing, which is a major reason why he sounds so utterly unique.
Swinging was common in 60s rock drumming (Ringo and Charlie certainly have some swing to their playing), but Bonham seems to swing more and seemingly swings on every bar of every song.
And swinging can be awesome!
Drummers who play evenly are ok by me, but those who swing bring the listener into that gray area that is sometimes more exciting - more exciting because there is an almost infinite number of degrees to which a drummer can swing.
Listen to Bonham's HH work on Stairway to Heaven. He adds quite a few extra hits (probably with his left hand) between the 8th notes. These extra hits are relatively quiet and swung just so perfectly it's hard to imagine it could be done any better.
And I don't know if anyone else has brought it up here, but Bonham is one of the extremely few white guys (as far as I know) who could cop this swinging feel that made Zep's tunes seem more funky and soulful than nearly every other white band.