I read the first few pages then skipped to the last page of this thread, but I didn't see anyone mention Criss Angel which surprised me even in just the few pages I read.
I've been interested in magic for most of my life... so far back that it starts to get rather fuzzy. I got a magic kit from my dad for christmas or something when I was a kid and for some reason I was fascinated by magic ever since. I got a few other crappy magic kits after that but what I consider to be my REAL start in magic was a CD ROM I got called Learn The Art of Magic with Jay Alexander. Jay was so awesome, and I consider him to be the first fellow magician to inspire me to go further. The CD ROM was great. The tricks were really good, I would even go so far as to say that this was a way better intro to magic than TGBMDVDE would have been. This was my first exposure to things like card forces, the french drop, the basic cut and restored rope, the slop shuffle, palming, etc. And not only did it actually teach magic, but it taught some history about the most famous legends of the past such as Houdini, Thurston, Malini, Chung Ling Soo, Robert-Houdin, etc. This was the first time I ever heard these names before(except maybe Houdini).
So I started doing all the tricks I learned from that CD ROM and I was loving it. Then eventually I saw David Blaine, who also inspired me a great deal. I found out the concept of DLs somehow... internet I guess... and was able to figure out 2CM after seeing Blaine do it. I knew what a DL was, but I was never taught how to properly do one or what it was supposed to look like. I was afraid of it and avoided it for a long time until I saw Blaine do his DLs which I used as a model, but looking back now I know I was doing it way wrong and I can't believe I was ever able to actually keep the cards together. But I started doing 2CM and some more of Blaine's stuff I was able to figure out. I did that for a long time but I wasn't regularly recieving new sources to learn from. Eventually I started to feel like I wasn't going to get any better or learn anything new... so that's probably when I lost interest.
It was a long time after that when Criss Angel came into the mainstream and I was inspired all over again. In the beginning, I was a huge Mindfreak fan. Criss practically became my idol until I started noticing all the problems with his shows. It didn't take long for it to become obvious that he was a fraud, but I have to admit that he's probably directly responsible for reminding me why I love the art of magic. I can watch him do something that I know is completely fake, but I still like his persona, his image, his presentation, and it makes me remember what it feels like to be a magician, to take on that role, to play that part and give people that awesome experience of seeing fantasy become real.
So these days I'm inspired by people like Danny Garcia, Jay Sankey, Jay Noblezada, Oz Pearlman, Luke Jermay, Wayne Houchin, etc. I think Sankey and Garcia are currently my two favorite magicians.