I want to fully understand your position before I provide my counterpoint or answer. I've found it counterproductive to debate with you and simultaneously try to understand your position. That's led to a tremendous waste of time in the past, such as the posts debating what would happen if Gush were restricted, where we were also debating over ranges/data sources, etc. Once I got clarification on your position, I was able to launch my counterpoints more effectively without stumbling over semantics or data discrepancies (btw, I've been proven right in that debate).
The "early to mid-2000s" is a very large period, that had very different metagames. The 2000 metagame was defined by Necropotence, until it's restriction. Necro-Trix was a brutal deck, but not particularly fast. The 2001 metagame was all about Fact or Fiction fueled Morphling decks. There was almost no viable combo in that metagame, despite some fools playing Neo-Academy. The 2002 metagame, similarly, had very little combo. So it's pretty confusing and extremely imprecise of you to say "early to mid-2000s."
The period between October, 2000 and May, 2003 (when Scourge was released, and Storm cards like Tendrils were pritned), had very, very little combo in the top performing decks, with the exception of Dragon, but even then, Dragon wasn't printed until Judgement, in May 2002. So that's still nearly a two year period in that block of time where combo was dormant.
After the restriction of Mind's Desire, it wasn't until at least a few months before Long & Rector Trix actually became a thing, and even then Long was promptly restricted in December, restricting both LED and Burning Wish, driving storm combo pretty much out of the US for years, (altough TPS was pretty popular in Europe through the Trinisphere year) until the legalization of Portal. I remember arguing with you on this point before.
And finally, Flash didn't even exist in the period you just gave. Flash, again, was errated in May 2007, and restricted in 2008. So, it's simply unclear what "time" you are talking about.
The year 2001 was probably the least coin flippy year I can ever remember in this format. It was essentially just BBS mirrors and Keeper, with garbage (like Sligh, Stompy, and Suicide Black) behind them. Even 2005 was dominated primarily by Control Slaver, Gifts, and other Mana Drain decks, once Trinisphere was restricted earlier (February) in that year. None of those years were particularly coin flippy, with perhaps the brief exception of the last three months of 2003, before the restriction of LED/B. Wish.
So, there is some pretty remarkable lack of precision in your claims that requires clarification before I can attempt to contest them.