OK Ariel...you're starting to convince me that Flea deserves his present placement...not TOTALLY convinced, but I do appreciate that more recently he's been going back to more traditional melodic bass roots like many other former singularly slap/pop bassists come back to the "Lord".
Family Man...well he IS the gold standard for his genre, although it's a bit difficult to ascess as compared to lots of other same genre stalwarts since the genre is highly specialized so far as our familiarity with lots of musicians not associated with the Marleys or Peter Tosh et al.
Thing is I could totally see Flea bump Geddy for #8. That's not an exaggeration. I'm not saying I'm gonna do that but it would be entirely reasonable. He's more creative, skilled and innovative. And versatile, I reckon.
Thing is it's kind of unfortunate as Ssoyd is touching on here, that Flea is known as a slapper...his slapping is outstanding but it's NOT what makes him stand out. His incredible, incredible fingerstyle work is what does. He's on McCartney's level in terms of melodic and harmonic subtlety and sophistication. That's saying a LOT as you know...he's, imo, one of only five or six 'god tier'/'divinely touched' (for lack of a better term) players in terms of creativity, in the history of rock...Jamerson, Macca, Squire, Flea, Claypool, maybe Burton, and MAYBE Entwistle. That's it.
As far as the Family Man goes...ya I know shit about him OR reggae basically. Suck. Any reggar fans 'round here? I made a station on pandora to help familiarize myself with the genre and his playing...but if he IS truly the godfather of reggae playing and the best reggae bassist, I think we're gonna have to move him up a bit here! (on the list)
StuBass, Flea has never been a singularly slap/pop bassist. I have always admired Flea and it's because of his beautiful, inventive and at times subtle bass lines, not his slap/pop. In addition when he does slap he tends to do it in a more melodic way than most players. He is IMO one of the best, if not the best bass player to come out of the 80's and 90's.
I really can't think of anyone better. If you count Levin as an '80s' bassist then Levin puts up a fight I guess...but as for the whole Flea vs Les Claypool thing, in my mind there's never been a comparison.