What separates you from the McFarlanes and Liefields is that you are always expanding and growing in your art rather than continuously doing the same old thing and becoming stagnant. To be honest, when I first saw your work I was not impressed, but that has since changed. Keep it up.
I don't see Leinil actively improving his style recently. He does explore different creative techniques however. I question if he even has any need to improve, his stuff is great enough as it is.
And the Liefeld (sans i) argument is wrong. Compare his early artwork with his recent work. It's certainly a big improvement. If you don't see that your opinion doesn't really count. It's easy to hate on the laughing stock of comic fandom and compliment its darlings.
I think you need to re-read the comment... It was a compliment on the growth I have seen, not a bash. I was honest in saying that I never used to like his work or his style but that it has cleaned up and become more defined, cleaner and much better overall.