We need to bear in mind that this was not the most authoritative, professionally researched and written piece. It isn't amateurish, but "That the drink itself was apparently created ten years before it included Pusser's rum is apparently unimportant." is a claim which, given the gravity of the matter, calls for some substantiation, not mere hearsay mention.
While I cannot provide the factual information which I criticize the author of this article for failing to offer, I believe that the Painkiller was invented at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke Island, British Virgin Islands. Lore has it that it was there in 1975 that The Painkiller was 'perfected' with the use of Pusser's Rum as its principal ingredient.
The argument might be one of semantics, debating the value of the difference between 'invented' and 'perfected'. Was the recognized Painkiller anything of merit prior to the introduction of Pusser's, or did the superior quality of Pusser's elevate the drink to prominence? Either way, if this legal pissing match was just an expensive marketing ploy, Pusser's has some confidence and bravado.
I added my thoughts in response to the comment prior to yours -- just before reading yours, Matt. I wholeheartedly agree with your statements.
Pusser's is one of the most lauded rums in the world, for reasons which you clearly understand and appreciate. The smell of a freshly uncorked new bottle is a wonderful experience all its own. Pot stills make the difference, as Pusser's insists.
I paid between $25 and $27 per bottle when I was buying Pusser's a couple of years back. It is worth the money, should anyone here who's unfamiliar with Pusser's feel inclined to try it after reading this story and the attendant comments.