Very well put by Sarah. I've been very fortunate to have met many of my SQL heroes, either at local events, Tech-ed, PASS, or SQLBits. My first conference quite literally changed my life! I have learnt so much from so many gifted DBAs over the years. The fact that so many are so willing to share such gems of knowledge enthuses me and made me realise early on that I had made the right choice of career. I, in turn, can't help evangelising...
3 cheers to all the speakers, bloggers, and posters out there!