Why put up a "who's your fave band" and then say "don't argue with me!"? :)
Seriously though, there are SO MANY wonderfully excellent bands out there, over the decades - its really hard to say who is a fave and why. Personally, I listen to so much great stuff from so many eras I find it impossible (for me) to pick 1 single fave... I see you technically listed 4, so I guess its not only me -- Which is cool, why not list a bunch of great acts rather than 1? How about a top ten? Maybe we can even compile a "TOP 100" rated bands by phlux.net members... That'd be very cool indeed. Let's see what we can ALL come up with here for top 10 faves... that's easier than 1 fave, if you ask me...
To each we value a certain tone that grabs us and moves us. Personally, I have my moments where a piano concerto from Liszt or Mozart leave me to wander within the notes. Lately, I've been traveling through the more recent kick-up-the-volume bands (Pantera, Alice In Chains, Mad Season). I don't think it's a realistic question, because each musician is talented in reinventing certain styles. Michael Hedges was incredible on the acoustic guitar, Layne Staley was a deep dark singer that made you want to sing along, Dimebag Darrell was an amazing screaming guitarist, Geddy Lee on bass(enough said). I'm sure this list will change by the end of the month. Clapton is a necessity in the music collection along with Hendrix and the Greatful Dead. There are songs from the three of them that don't grab me, but the same goes for those that I mentioned earlier. I think if anything the question should be changed to list some hot 'new' musicians.
I heard this great interview from Frank Zappa. He said that "who's your favorite band /musician/composer, and why?" was a crazy question for a musician to have to answer in an interview because you always get stuck with people quoting whatever statement you make as "a reference"; once you say "I like this band here" it is assumed that it is a major influence... which a lot of times, just isn't the case.
Personally, I've said I love a lot of musicians and bands at certain times just because I was in a particular mood , or at a stage musically where I found them quite interesting. Later, I'll look back and think "what the hell did I say I liked that band so much for?"
THAT BEING SAID: Here are some bands and musicians I like, right now, in the heat of THIS MOMENT NOW...
The prior statement doesn't mean that none of these bands/musicians "AREN'T" influences, it just means that they may not be. It also means that tomorrow, next month, or 6 minutes from now, the list will most likely have changed drastically...