I think something to bear in mind with Beckham is that he is still improving. Not too long ago he was very much one footed (hard to believe in a "world class" player, I know) but over the last year or two he has put in so much work to improve the other side. Frighteningly he is now delivering left footed crosses that are almost as good as the right footed ones - he's certainly the best crosser of a ball in world football.
Another thing to bear in mind is that he plays on the right wing where he can't exert as much influence as the likes of Figo and Zidane so he is more prone to drifting in and out of games.
I think the thing that sets him apart from the others is that he works so hard. Anybody who saw the England - Greece game would know what I mean. England were absolutely dreadful and going down to a deserved defeat, but Beckham pretty much played Greece on his own, he was absolutely magnificent and ultimately got the goal that secured qualification. As he matures he reminds me of Bryan Robson in his application more and more, the difference being that Beckham is a much better player, and Robson was good.
The other thing that strikes me is that he seems to be reserving his best displays for England rather than United. It's as if he cares much more about it, especially now he's captain. That kind of commitment (which Giggs has never shown to Wales) is making him ever more important, and I think it is these internationals by which he should be judged, not to mention how he's come back from that sending off in '98.
On the whole, I think he probably is still behind Zidane and Figo, but I've seen a lot of all three and Beckham is still young and improving. I wouldn't be surprised to see him become acknowledged as the world's best player in the next few years.
As for Owen, he's the most lethal finisher I've ever seen. The fact that he's only 21 is really quite scary. But he's one of the oldest of a crop of talented young players coming through, Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole (who really could become the world's best in a few years), Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, David Dunn and so on.
In terms of technical play, the English appear to be (at last) catching the rest of Europe up.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.