In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Al-Allaamah Rabee [may Allaah preserve him] was asked: Shaikh Al-Albaanee, Shaikh Ibn Baaz and Shaikh Uthaymeen have passed away, so who remains from the scholars?
Answer: Those who remain are numerous and all praise is due to Allaah. Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] died and his noble companions [may Allaah be pleased with them] remained. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal died and his companions remained. Ibn Taymiyyah died and his companions remained. (Imaam Muhammad) Ibn Abdul Wahhaab died and his companions remained. And those ones [i.e. Albaanee, Ibn Baaz and Uthaymeen] died and their students and brothers remain by Allaah’s Will. The truth will not be lost. When Umar was stabbed, it was said to him, “Appoint a successor!” He said, “Allaah will not allow His Religion to be lost”. By Allaah! This Religion will never be lost. It is upon you to put shoulder to shoulder and embark upon work-raise the flag of the Sunnah and the flag of the truth. “There will not cease to be a group amongst my Ummah manifest upon the truth-neither will they be harmed by those who betray them nor by those who oppose them till Allaah’s promise come to pass (i.e. the day of Judgement)”. By Allaah! Neither knowledge nor the committee of senior scholars have died- all praise is due to Allaah-and there is good and blessing with them. Our Salafi brothers are in the different regions of the world. The world is filled with senior students of knowledge who fill this gap-all praise is due to Allaah. Therefore, neither can the people of falsehood rejoice nor become happy. (1)
Therefore, our foremost concern should be to acquire sound knowledge, acquaint ourselves with sound proofs and ask Allaah to enable us to act based on sound proofs. Al-Allaamah Rabee said, “And (with regards to) the person with the proofs, it is obligatory to take his speech (on the grounds) of following Allaah’s Legislation and Proofs, and not (due to) the personality of that person”. (2)
Al-Allaamah Rabee also said: The seeker of truth is not diverted from the truth, fairness and justice due to admiration of the big personalities and being amazed by them, for indeed the truth is more worthy to be followed. It is not permissible to drop the proofs for the sake of this or that great man. The principle [rule] of the Muslim – the unbiased one, the seeker of truth – is always: [قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ -Say, Bring forth your proofs if you are truthful]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 64] (3)
Question to Shaikh Saaleh al-Fawzaan: What is the meaning of the principle: The truth is not known by way of men, rather men are known by way of the truth?
Answer: Its meaning is that we do not merely blindly follow anyone, for it may be that one is blindly followed based on error; it may be that the Mujtahid is mistaken and the one who makes [a statement or holds an opinion] is mistaken, so we do not take [his statement, opinion etc] and say, “This is the statement of such as such; this is truth, because such and such is good, he is a scholar; such and such is Taqiy [i.e. one who fears Allaah]”. We do not say this because he is not infallible and he can make a mistake; so we know men by way of the truth – those who know; those who take [or adhere to] the proofs and indeed they are known to be scholars. As for those who do not give concern [or importance] to the proofs, they are not scholars; they are not people of [sound] understanding and they are not people of knowledge, so their statement is never taken straight away. It is imperative that the proof is presented, so if the proof is established as witness to [what he says or holds etc], then it is the truth; but if he opposes the proof, then indeed [his statement or opinion] is rejected; however if he is a Mujtahid and he is mistaken, he is rewarded [once] due to his Ijtihaad; but if he deliberately holds on to error, he has sinned. [Paraphrased. Refer to video here: https://safeshare.tv/x/tyVyzaoU0tw# ]
Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “I have met Mashaayikh- their circumstances were different and their stations in knowledge varied. The most beneficial of them for me in companionship was the scholar who acted upon his knowledge, even though there were others more knowledgeable than him”. 
As for who is more knowledgeable amongst the students and upright callers to Islam – in the Muslim lands, this is something that the senior scholars can tell us because they are the ones at that level of knowledge to judge others; however, one must always remember that regardless of the knowledge possessed by a person, adherence to truth should be main goal of the seeker of truth. As for the elder students in the Uk – those who are well-known to Al-Allaamah Rabee, al-Allaamah Ubaid Bin Abdillaah Al-Jaabiri and Al-Allaamah Hasan Al-Bannah, we do not say anything other than what is said about them by these scholars, and what is said about them is well-known to every Salafi. And what we know of them – may Allaah protect us and them from Fitan – is that they continue to advise us to fear misguidance, self-amazement, an inflated self-importance, craving for leadership etc.
[Ref 1: الذريعة إلى بيان مقاصد كتاب الشريعة . 1/208-209. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Majmoo 9/40]
[Ref 3: Al-Mulakh-khasul Jameel Fee Bayaani Manhaji Ash-Shaikh Rabee Fid-Da’wati Wal-Jarhi Wat-Ta’deel. Page 87]
[Ref 4: Saydul Khaatir. page 138]