I thought so too, until I got a teacher in college who had a freakish talent for hearing the intent behind your music. If there was even a little bit of a motivation in me to impress, get appreciated or copy other artists as a safety measure, he could sniff it out immediately because he'd seen it all before. That made a pretty big impact on all of us as students and really made me realize why only some of my songs/bands seemed to connect with people when most of them didn't. I was basically using too many tricks to write "good" songs and shooting myself in the foot by compromising my feelings and taste and relying more on skill and knowledge instead. I agree that this makes a lesser impact on guitar playing than on songwriting as a whole, but guitar playing is a part of the whole. I think you can hear "BS" in a person singing about some tragic event that never actually happened to them, or being braggy and show-offy when they're really quite insecure. Some people hide it well enough but to me most people don't. I don't think this is universally objective at all, but I do notice that the majority of people seem to have the same ear for it. But yeah, it's not 100% accurate all the time. I'm not trying to be pseudo-inspirational, it's just a hard topic to condense in a short paragraph. Like I said, speed or genre has nothing to do with it in my experience. People who don't like shred guitar might not care either way, but someone who is a huge fan of the genre might be floored by John Petrucci yet unimpressed by you, and I think the difference is mostly in the intent of the player. If your intent is to just play faster and cleaner than John Petrucci, I don't think you're gonna go nearly as far as he has.