My nominees for top mentalist in terms of utter astonishment, showmanship and ingenuity, pragmatism and cunning boldness goes to
1) Richard Osterlind (astonishment, showmanship and ingenuity, pragmatism)
2) Barrie Richardson (astonishment, showmanship and cunning boldness)
Yes, I agree Banacheck, Maven, Knepper, Yamilovich, Ted Lesley, Larry Becker, Lee Earle etc could be up there too, however Osterlind and Richardson stands out in my humble opinion - I'm just constantly impressed with these two gentlemen.
However, I never witnessed Chan Canasta and alot of other fine gentlemen within mentalism, so I couldn't really say.