The thing nobody is talking about is that Schumacher was at his top form when he could count on the consistency of everything around him to also be in top form. This is what I hate about the Pirelli "added entertainment value" approach we have now: F1 is now more about "who can adapt on the spot and manage the tires the best?". That strikes me as more of rally-type of skill than F1. A guy known for being able to eke out the last nth of performance from a car is hamstrung in today's system.
I think if there wasn't the artifice of requiring to run two completely different tires during a race, as well as use tires that are deliberately designed to be a bit of a mystery, the field might be mixed differently.
But, and let me play devil's advocate here, if Schumacher is still on his game, still has what it takes and is more than capable of winning again, shouldn't ekeing out the last nth of performance from his car also include ekeing out the maximum performance from the tires? Everyone is playing on the same level field here. I think 2012 is going to be the make or break year for him. If, at the end of this season his performance is no better than that of 2011, then he should seriously consider hanging his helmet up for good.