Today’s virtuosos are at a disadvantage in that other than technique, it has all been done before. Who is around today to give the contrast Hendrix gave in relation what you heard on the radio? When you heard the Osmonds, the Monkees, the Supremes, then Purple Haze, you knew this was something different. Same with Led Zep 1, Jeff Beck Group, Cream, etc.
Also, to put SRV in context, he came at a time when people were tired of hair bands and contrived music, and were longing for something soulful. EVH stood you on your ear, and what followed him was an army of players trying to emulate him but coming up short.
What does all this mean? Number one, in terms of popular music, guitar oriented stuff has very, very little chance of being mainstream, so there are probably hundreds of flat out killer players who aren’t being heard. Two, the indie route is their only option, and it takes a lot of work to get a following, where the guys you mentioned all had a lot of push behind them, and many of the “supergroups” didn’t last as long as it takes for an indie group to get past square one.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to be considered an influential guitarist today, you need to live for the opportunity to eke out a living doing what you love and hope that’s enough. People on this forum live in a much heightened awareness of who’s who in the music world. Go ask ten people if they know who Eric Johnson, or Joe Bonomassa, or Steve Via are, and you might get a more realistic view.
Maybe Taylor Swift can woodshed with Jeff Beck for five years. She’d have a pretty good shot.