1) I don't agree that Federer was often out hit FH-FH at his best, can you think of any specific examples, because I have to say I don't remember it happening at all.
2) I don't agree that the Gonzalez match is a good example, there were exceedingly few FH to FH rallies in the entire match, both players tried to play to the backhand, which Federer ultimately proved better able to do.
3) Even if that dubious example is accepted, that was a guy with one of the best forehands ever, at the best level he had ever reached, and he clearly didn't 'cream' him that badly considering he lost in three sets (I know it's partially because of Federer's all round superiority, but imo Federer was in complete control of sets two and three, including FH to FH).
One better example that there is, is the match with the same two players at the masters cup, Gonzalez really did out-hit Federer there. Cannot think of any other instances though, certainly not enough to declare it having happened 'often'.
For me, great shots are too big a part of tennis to be played off like this. Sure, the movement is really important and the footwork (which is connected with stroke play imo) is tantamount. However, these factors do not a champion make, not without seriously world class shots. The idea that Federer dominated the tour to the ludicrous degree he did, primarily through footwork and intelligence, just doesn't add up. His serve has always been good (but didn't peak in harmony with the rest of his game), his backhand is diverse and useful (though flawed in some ways), but the player that Federer is, and the dominance that he enjoyed, were primarily a function of his forehand. His ability to control points with that shot, to not lose tempo when people attack that wing (notably through amazing baseline half volleys), to hit winners of very low balls, to hit passing shots, and also to play % when it was called for (such as in constant hitting to the Gonzo BH in the 2007 AO match), combine to make a fearsome weapon. I'm sorry, I think you're trying to be objective, but realistically the notion that JMDP's forehand is in the same league as Federer's was in his peak years of 2004-2007 is a bit laughable. It's not as varied, it's not as consistent, it's not as good a passing shot, it's not as good a defensive shot, it's not as good a put away shot, it's far poorer on low balls. The imprint left by the power of JMDP's forehand is strong, but Federer's is a long way ahead at being effective in a far greater number of situations.
Well argued. Federer's forehand from 2004-7 is the best. Only Nadal of current players comes close.