Apparently with my prog cred now in tatters, and being trolled;
Clearly there were lots of different sounds going on. People had the same journey, but different paths.
This is how I remember it doing down, just to clear up and confusion.
1998- Paul Oakenfold top of his game. Playing the latter days of his sets in the courtyard at Cream. Sound was very much house and trance orientated. His GU from New York was simply stunning. Had a mixture of house/trance/breakbeat/dub. Noone was close to him.
Sasha returned from his spell in the wilderness with GU San Francisco. For me that was the start of the progressive house sound. Whether tracks like "Space Manoeuvres" is progressive house or progressive trance is semantics. It was an awesome track.
Hooj Tunes took a massive step forwards with their "Deeper Shades" series. Volume 2 and Volume 3 - this for me captured the "progressive trance" sound as opposed to it being "progressive house"
1999 - Oakenfold's world tour on Essential Mix. He was simply untouchable that year. Top of DJ Magazine Top 100 (for what its worth). Digweed's Bedrock was released, deep, chuggy progressive house. Mark Lewis Essential Mix was excellent. Sasha's Ibiza on GU became one of the biggest selling dance albums of all time. Oakenfold moved to Home London.
2000 - Trance kicked off commercially big time. Releases like "Euphoria", "Trance Anthems" started to suck all credibility out of it. You had the likes of Tong, Pearce, Jules playing trance.
Tech House was also emerging from the likes of Seb Fontaine and Prototype Series This harder edgier house while good in the clubs was less easier on the ear for home listening
2000/2001 - Trance took a different direction with AVB , Tiesto coming to the forth. Oakenfold's "Travelling" release was truly dire. Trance for me because harder, faster away from the mainstream. The Gatecrasher releases (Black/Red) kept trance credible. Renaissance were flying the flag with Renaissance Worldwide. Oakenfold's Essential Mixes from early 2000 were the last time I really enjoyed him playing. The Global Underground NU Breed series was showcasing new progressive sounds from the likes on Anthony Pappa, Satohsi Tomie
2001/2002 - Progressive house really took off through the likes of Parks and Wilson Painting on Silence, Seaman/Cattaneo on Renaissance. Markus James's Sound of Renaissance was a brilliant album. Jimmy Van M on Bedrock, Chris Fortier on Bedrock. Lemon 8 Sanctuary Sessions. Steve Lawler was taking a more tribal approach through the very excellent Dark Drums and Lights Out series on GU. Digweed Los Angeles captured the progressive house sound most moderfully. Balance entered the dance mix arena. Sean Quinn, Kasey Taylor and the very good Bill Hamell releases
2002/2003 - It was around 2002 I gave up on Trance and focused on "progressive house". Trance seemed to be rooted in the Tiesto/PVD/AVB harder "euro trance". It was always too fast and hard to make enjoyable listening. The likes of Global Underground were churning out quality progressive house through the likes of Sander Kleinenberg Nu Breed. The likes of Danny Howells and Lee Burridge were flying the high in the UK Scene. 24/7 releases on GU being good examples. Sasha and Digweed pioneered the progressive house scene across the US with the Delta Heavy tour.
2003/2004 - Sander Kleineberg was at his heights, the "Everybody" release on Renaissance were all very good (maybe not so the later ones), Dave Seaman had his Therapy Sessions thing going on. Hernan Cattaneo was coming to the fore following his earlier Perfecto release. Around the time When Desyn Masiello released his Bedrock Originals and latterly his Essential mix the progressive sound began to unwind. James Zabelia's Alive was beginning to bring a newer, more electro vibe to the scene.
2004/2005 - Digweed's sound seemed to evolve within literally a couple of months. The "Transitions" series while technically brilliant were a far cry from the chuggier more progressive sound of "Delta Heavy". Global Underground series appeared to lose its focus and diversify with James Lavelle and Danny Howells. (although the Danny Howells mix has stood the test of time). Balance had some good stuff going on with Chris Fortier
2005/2006 - The minimalist electro sound was taking hold. James Zabelia Utilities. Nic Fanciulli was a good progressive release, but his sound quickly evolved by his latter release "Renaissance Presents Vol 2". By this time there were less and less quality progressive house releases. Deep Dish on GU and Nick Warren were OK, but not truly excellent. Jimmy Van M's release on Balance was probably one of the last really good/solid progressive house releases.
I'm sorry if I've caused offence to anyone.
Maximum kudos to anyone that was there.
Am sure I've made a few errors somewhere in there. Apologies to anything I've missed or overlooked.
Its a little misty remembering that far back, usually I can't remember what I've done last week.