K&O only had 3 good seasons, and they were only the dominant pair in one of those seasons, 1999.
IMO, G&P were vulnerable in 1997 and especially 1998. K&O had their chances to beat them, just as G&P had passed U&Z in 1994.
K&O dominated their fall 1996 GP (with G&P out with injury), but couldn't even manage to beat B&K at the GPF. Then G&P came to Euros with vastly better programs and trounced K&O, retaining their Euro and World titles.
By 1998, Evgeny's knees were failing him and G&P were falling down a lot in competition. The Russian federation didn't really have reason to prop up G&P anymore, IMO. They were obviously retiring no matter what, so it would been better for Russian skating to have K&O win gold in Nagano and try for a second title in SLC. K&O managed to lead G&P in the Euro OD (because G&P fell), but couldn't hold on to their lead because Carmen was an open program, not as difficult as Memorial, and too OTT for many to appreciate. They were 2nd at the Olympics and won Worlds because G&P finally retired, but they did not dominate that season.
In 1999, K&O dominated on paper, with an unbeaten season. However, there was some questioning of the judges for their European title and the inquiry was actually led by the Russian referee! They won Worlds, but they conceded the OD to A&P, so they weren't even able to fully dominate once G&P retired.
They were good dancers, and it's very sad that she got injured, but based on their actual record, they are the weakest link at this point. They have two world titles and an Olympic silver. V&M and N&K have two world titles and Olympic gold. A&P have only one World title, but an Olympic gold and bronze, and G&P are far ahead of everyone.
And I totally disagree with voting off V&M, who are the most technically gifted team on the list, and had incredible accomplishments much earlier in their careers. They're the youngest Olympic champions in the skating discipline that values longevity & experience the most.