I seek out environments where people encourage a healthy competition... where people improve for the sake of personal challenge. I believe when the ego becomes involved, the art suffers.
that's pretty much where i stand on the issue. i believe that in some situations, slight competition, done in a friendly way, is a good thing. but it can easily be taken too far and i've seen both sides of the spectrum.
also, i believe the knowledge should be shared around a bit. i have no problem with going up to someone and saying, 'damn, that solo you did for soko was tight. can you show me that phrase you did right after...'. and people know they can come ask me stuff. with that spirit, people don't feel like they have to come up with some ridiculous solo phrase, or to make a long, ranting solo.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't think drumming is popular enough in this town to make that much of an issue. I believe there is only a handful of pro-drummers - most of them teach.
within your drumming scene, how much competition is there, and how much sharing goes on? i don't think it matters so much how popular drumming is in your town. sometimes one person can have enough ego to spoil it for everyone.