Yeah i read an article about that rift between the Miyazaki clan - i do believe Hayao turned up to the premiere of Tales from the Earth Sea and gave it the thumbs up.
I've seen a fair few Miyazaki/Ghibli films and trying to recall them all. I liked Laputa - Castle in the Sky very much. It's a film that my older cousin turned me onto from his childhood years and I only saw it about 2 years ago - very good movie. I've seen a couple of others from Hayao including Spirted Away and Nausica is a very good film too. I can't say I've seen too many to know that Laputa is his best film though.
I remember some other Ghibli film, Grave of the Fireflies, just being the most depressing fucking film I've ever seen in my entire life and I don't ever want to sit through that again - it's just too sad for me. Kids slowly dying is not fun.
Glad you think I'm awesome though - I also agree that I'm awesome too.