I think what a lot of "critics" overlook is how a guitar player, or any musician for that matter, fits in with the rest of the band. You can be the most technically accomplished, knowledgeable player in the world but if you can't play in a group and/or tailor your playing to fit with a specific song then it's all going to waste.
For the style of music Dream Theater play then JP is the right person for the job. If you watch the video of the drummer auditions that accompanies A Dramatic Turn of Events, then you see how the balance between technical skill, improvisation and composition, as well as personality are all important criteria.
If we were talking about JP as a solo guitarist, then that would be like comparing him with Julian Bream, Paco de Lucia, etc. That's because it's a whole different game being a soloist and playing in a group.
Anyway, just my thoughts.
There's a few musicians I would have liked to have seen life -
Jaqueline Du Pre playing the Elgar Cello Concerto at the Royal Albert Hall
Going back even further, I would have really liked to have seen Paganini to see if he lived up to his reputation
Rock gigs: Queen at Hammersmith Odeon Christmas Eve 1975, Rolling Stones at Knebworth 1976
Would also have liked to have seen Miles Davis with the original "Bitches Brew" lineup
My name's Pete and I'm from England. Been a follower of Dream Theater since the early nineties when I saw them on MTV's Headbanger's Ball. They had a lot of similar interests to music I was into, and so it developed from there. What I like most about them is the fact that they're not limited to one style of music but use styles to create different textures.
I'm also a musician. My main instruments are guitar (classical, flamenco and electric) and the violin.