I didn't read past Ishimoto on the list...I really didn't need to.
I would definitely need to have Michiko Naruke, Miki Higashino and Yuzo Koshiro in there. Yasunori Shiono (Lufia) and Akihiko Mori (Mystic Ark, Gokinjyou Bouken Tai) would get consideration, as would Tokuhiko Uwabo (classic Phantasy Star + Sorcerian Megadrive). A lot of the "usual" suspects from today would neither make my list or would come in lower than I would have had them in the past. Not touching the Falcom JDK mess (outside of Koshiro), but as a whole, they probably make up my favorite group of JRPG soundtracks. Always finding great, new tracks from these guys in both their old and new soundtracks.
So let's see what I come up with...
1. Nobuo Uematsu
-His classic-era stuff is just that good. For my purposes, this is a no-brainer.
2. Yuzo Koshiro
-Life without Ys and Sorcerian music would seriously be awful. Yuzo fills that void and tops me off with Etrian Odyssey and Actraiser.
3. Michiko Naruke
-I generally like Wild Arms music when she's doing it. A lot.
4. Yasunori Mitsuda
-Probably moving him up, because of Soma Bringer and Inazuma recently. Xenogears and Chrono Trigger were definitely beasts and Chrono Cross is pretty good, as long as I seperate it mentally from the game it accompanies. I appreciate his sense of melody more now than I have in the past.
5. Hiroki Kikuta
-Always rediscovering stuff I like about him. Seiken 2 and 3 and Soukaigi are a pretty potent line-up (especially Seiken 3!). I like his overall quirkiness.
6. Miki Higashino
-The two Suikoden games she did was enough to get her up this high. Shame she didn't stick around longer.
7. Tokuhiko Uwabo
-Phantasy Star's music is classic and Sorcerian Megadrive is just as good as the original Sorcerian. Need more, but those 5 games are enough.
8. Motoi Sakuraba
-Valkyrie Profile (1), I CHOOSE YOU!!! I still check out his stuff because of his potential and past works, but the yays have been in the minority recently. At least his Star Ocean 4 battle theme has promise for the rest of the score.
9. Yasunori Shiono
-Lufia 1 and 2 have very good music.
10. Noriyuki Iwadare
-REALLY had to think here, him, Mori or Shimomura. Like Sakuraba, he's fallen way off, but the excellent tracks he did from the Grandias, Lunars and Langrissers justify a spot over the other two.