Have always enjoyed guitar music and these days have a very large collection. The 'Best Guitarist' debate always generates a lot of passion. I think the reality is that most peoples perspective tends to be based initially on their preferred musical tatses rather than the musicians abilities. Many fans get swept along with the seemingly technically challenging high speed widdling but so often its very much about touch and feel and what notes are not played. I played guitar quite badly for many years and tried to mimic the Rock and Blues players along with some Jazzers. However it was only when my son went to Uni to read Commercial Music and majored in Guitar Practical that my horizons were truly widened. His performance pieces evolved from the usual Steve Vai, Joe Satriani repetiore in year one to some truly amazing material which I had never heard of. Try and listen to some of the following for something different...
Electric Jazz - Rock
Shawn Lane (sadly deceased) Powers of Ten or Powers of Ten Live.
For a jazzier performance from Shawn listen to 'Personae'
Guthrie Govan - Still to be heard live on occaisions at my local 'Basement Club' in Chelmsford,Essex. His solo album Erotic Cakes is very special Indeed. More recenlty he is playing in the 3 piece supergroup 'The Aristocrats' and their album The Aristocrats is well worth hearing.
You can also hear Guthrie on a superb guitar album Lee Ritenours '6 String Theory' If you like guitar playing this album is a must have - the guest list is quite something.
Naims' own Antonio Forcione always good to listen to, however try
Andy McKee , John Gomm and Preston Reid for some truly stunning accoutic fingerstyle gymnastics. I saw all three in concert a few months ago , a really memorable experience.
Left Field........Christophe Godin - He demonstrates the most fun you could possibly have playing and listening to guitar. Rock /Jazz style he plays in a 3 piece known as 'MORGLBL' try 'Jazz For The Deaf' or 'Grotesk'. A french guitarist but occaisionally does demo tours and seminars in the UK if you have chanced just go and see him play for guitar fans it has to be on your bucket list.