I'd put Rusty up a Makita any day. :-) His hooks aren't something you're going to hear on KBPI anytime soon, but I think in time, his songwriting will eventually get to that level. No- I don't see him writing a song like "Mickey". LOL His playing with Outland showed a strong song-writing base that he can, and probably will, easily build on.
Some background: Rusty does everything fast. Since he was a kid, he's always gone as quick as possible. He told me some stories about racing BMX, then onto motocross (imagine a 130 lb. guy on a 250cc at full throttle. Can you say "ghost rider"? LMAO). On his drive down to Jemfest, he was visited by the highway patrol. Once again on his way back to Atlanta. He's just a fast guy. Asking Rusty to play slow is like asking to see Rich in a thong; it's something that probably won't happen (or shouldn't happen. LOL)
Michael Angelo Baito is pretty damn quick. He's up there with Impelliterri. We watched a few clips at Gabe's house; the guy can move some furniture! There's undeniable skill there, but not something I'm rushing out to buy.
The guy from Mr. Cucumber (Marcus) has been discussed here before. I listened to all the tracks on the MP3.com site, but couldn't figure out if he was actually fingering or sliding an E-Z-Chord thingy up and down the neck. Not clean playing either, if I remember correctly. I'd like to see him in person to see whatthehell is going on there (anyone got video?). The claims of 463 notes per second are a little outlandinsh too.
As most have said, speed is one of MANY aspects of playing the guitar. It's not the only thing. A mix of as many pieces as you can pick up is the best way to go (see also: Shawn Lane).
Jono- you've seen that kid too? Amazing, huh? :-)
P.S.- Sorry; it should have been "128th notes"...too much math that early in the day. :-) What comes after hemi-demi-semi-quaver? Hemi-demi-semi-fast as hell? LOL