I think James Hetfield is a great guitarplayer aswell he is a great creative mind. 20 years ago they had there most creative time and well, with St. Anger I think its comming to an end, But EVERY artist has a limit, I mean Yngwie alwayse plays the same ****... I love his playing but buy one album you herd them all...
Doensn't mean I dont respect Metallica. They have been touring for most of there lives, and they surfived it pretty well :) You can't say all artists can live that lifestyle and still are together as a group.
People just dont know what a dedication it takes to player with 4 guys for 20 years. There are band enough who quit after just 5 years touring and never wanting to see eachother again, these guys have been through hard times together and they still stand together as a band. Very rare nowadays I'd say.
As a musician I started playing Metallica, my first big band. Now 3 years later I can play pretty much everything they wrote, I understand there music and it aint that hard to play. But that's with all sorts of music, so I think people who don't respect them anymore because they can play there music just need to move on to other music and play that, dont complain I can play this, I can play that.
Meanwhile you are sitting here behind your computer and they are kicking ass @ a concert.