I wouldn't really say LaBrie pushed Mike out, but I'm sure he was glad he was gone. You look at some of the old behind the scenes footage (e.g. the Systematic Chaos DVD or the Train of Thought recordings), and you can see how much Mike grated on LaBrie. James just really didn't like him at all. As for the 'primary impetus' Mike was ousted, I think even he admits it was his own fault. He wanted to take a break, the band disagreed, he said, 'alright, well I guess I will have to take a break, then', and they called his bluff. And actually, of all the members that'd be the most keen to forge on with the band, I'd say Petrucci was the most attached. He relies a great deal on Dream Theater, both creatively and financially, especially as a platform for his endorsement deals. But I also got the impression that he really wanted Mike to stay, yet had to relent when an agreement couldn't be reached. For these reasons and more, I don't think LaBrie could have played the mutineer. It's a common complaint, yeah. I always defended LaBrie though...love him all the early albums, especially Awake. He's a great singer when his whininess is in check, and his voice really meshes with the band. I think Mike's ear for production had a lot to do with that (he always considered lyrics/vocals to be the most important aspect of the music). That said, I still find it ironic that they searched the world over for a new vocalist after Dominici's departure, only to have Russell Allen crop up in New Jersey a couple of years later. As though he could've practically been their neighbor, it's crazy. Agreed. The guys knew they each had to do more to fill the absence, but what we would up with was Jordan Rudess doing more demos for iPad apps, and Petrucci becoming the leader of the band. LaBrie did a bit more, but not much. Myung says as little as ever. And Mangini has been treated like a paid studio musician, apparently even by the band. So I think a lot of fans rightly feel like Dream Theater lost its identity...even musically it seems like it's Petrucci and Rudess contributing 70/25, the remaining percentage being for whatever small contributions the other guys make. Anyway, I guess that's beating a dead horse. I think most DT fans want Mike back. It's just a question of when (and if) we'll ever see them together again.