A frind of mine (Bob Bonnenberger) turned me onto Eric Johnson back in the mid 90s. I remember listening to 'Ah Via Musicom' and being blown away! You have to love Eric's tone, very little high end but just enough to make the notes almost haunting.
But the other thing that is unique about Eric is his use of the pentatonic shapes. He has a super fast technique that is playing either 2 notes per string or wide 3 note per string intervals. He can run up and down the neck so damn fast!
'Cliffs of Dover' is obvisouly a great tune, but things like 'High Landrons' and 'Manhattan' really do a lot for me as well.
I enjoy listeng to almost anything by Eric. I've read that he's a real perfectionist in the studio and that seems to pay off for him. I've seen his instructional videos as well and you can learn alot from them.
He seems to be a shy person that isn't always sure about himself, I can't really believe that's true but that's how he seems to me.
I saw him open for someone in the mid 90s (I think it was Rush). He just made playing guitar look effortless.