I'm surprised that I haven't seen this in the world of lingblogs (or maybe it showed up a while back and I've forgotten it?), but last month Prospect magazine did a survey about the most important public intellectuals. (You can see results here.)
Chomsky is the runaway winner – basically doubling the vote tally for Umberto Eco, in second place. He's not there for the Minimalist Program, I imagine, but the list has some other linguistics (Pinker), cog sci (Dennett) and more general language-y stuff (Eco).
I'm a little puzzled at the graphic they used (shown here). I get a kind of low-key, professorial thing there, but what's with the facial expression?