Going off the board with Roger Penrose. His books on Quantum Consciousness are some of the most thought provoking works I've ever read.
From the men you listed I'd have to go with Descartes. I love reading academics who interrelate science and philosophy, and there are very few better than Descartes in this regard. Newton was a boss though.
“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent. If we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death, our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” - Stanley Kubrick
Exhibit A as to how hockey doesn't matter on ESPN:
Last night an ESPN program was discussing how the Detroit Pistons needed a hero citing the heroes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions and no mention of the Detroit Red Wings. All this despite the Red Wings probably being the most succesful team in Detroit right now.