Who is your favorite guitarist?
I've had the pleasure of hearing a number of great guitar players in person.
It would be difficult to think of one more influential than Merle Travis (with the possible exception of Chet Atkins). Doc Watson definitely earned his status a legendary bluegrass picker.
Leo Kottke, Laurence Juber, Pepino d'Agustino, and Pierre Bensusan are/were amazing.
There are plenty of others that I am forgetting.
As far as the most amazing technical playing I have ever seen, that would be Musashi Suzuki (look him up).
But my personal favorite is probably Richard Thompson.