1. Stevie Ray Vaughan-Tone is unparalleled. Add the technique and flash, and songs, and he's #1.
2. Eddie VH-Phrasing is sick, tone is unique, and signature licks (tapping, etc.) stellar.
3. Brian May-Tone is one of a kind, classical element in his playing makes him unique.
4. Randy Rhoads-Genius. Melodic structure maybe the best I've ever heard. Precision.
5. The Edge-Picking technique and tone are incredible. Not hard to play, but nobody can do a U2 tune the same way.
*honorable mention: Diamond Darrell Abbott-He's been around since the 80's but his style didn't become top shelf til the 90's. One word: Thick. Dude sounds like a guitar army and that power groove style is one of the few that catches my ear amongst all the copies.
Editor's Note: Innovation and pioneering does not equal best, necessarily.