Greg Kmiec is not on this list.
I know he's more of an old school guy, and while I wouldn't list him as my personal favorite I do like a lot of his games.
He designed a lot of really good selling and good looking pins too. Breakshot is one of my favorites ever, but I like Bow & Arrow and I do want to get a Harlem Globetrotters. He also did Wizard and Bobby Orr.
Anyway... He's not my favorite.
My favorite happens to be a real scum bag. So I rather not talk about him. The reason I picked him though is because his layouts are unique and fun, and also I think he was one of the best at integration of the theme.
I think Steve Ritchie is amazing, but sometimes his theme integration is really subpar. You could slap any theme on some of his pins and it wouldn't change anything but the artwork. Don't get me wrong there are games of his where he nails the theme. BKSOR I think he nailed it with an amazing toy.
And I think Pat Lawlor is the balance between the two of them. Amazing and unique layouts with nice flow, and just amazing theme integration. Although Lawlor does seem to have a particular style that he prefers and so there can be some similarities between his pins.
Regardless. I hope to own both a Creech and a GB and a Dredd along with some of the other 80s era gottliebs. Also I want to get a Caribbean Cruise.
Going forward though... I think it might be Keith Elwin for the win. As if he keeps up his track record he could be one of thee best ever.