Here we differ. A great riff supports and does not overwhelm the song. This is not to say that a great riff does not exist outside of a composition...it certainly can, but it would not serve the the piece, the piece serves it..in which case why not just do an instrumental?
Scotty Moore at Sun Records sets the standard. Stax records guitar work is not necessarily dominant but crucial....Steve Cropper, oh yeah. Brian May is a genius at providing just the right amount of content with dynamic phrasing. Joe Perry is equally gifted. David Gilmour's work shows exceptional sensitivity...The guitar player for the Cars compositonal acumen still impresses. Albert Collins the "Ice Man" and recently Tommy Castro...
Look there'll always be guitar gods....but a band member who can help send a 3 minute song deep into your memory after all the other 10 minute self-indulgent solos are forgotten that's a storyteller.
Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king