Ok, I've been playing for a little over 3 years now and I am very pleased with my technique so far. I've always wanted to shred eve since I started playing, and I think I'm finally at the point where I can start working on it. What are some good, all purpose, versatile, general heavy metal shred licks/runs/patterns that every shred guitarist should know? I have my metronome ready. All I need is a good starting point.

there ya go

but seriously find shred songs you like and pick out the licks you like
use your ears and then you might not sound like most stereotypical shredders
Van Halen's Eruption is really good for getting your speed up, also, check out Steve Vai's 30 hour workout Paul Gilbert has some good exercises, also, check out www.thewizardofshred.com, his videos can be a bit long at times, but listen in and you can only benefit. Above all, shred is all in the mind. You have to concentrate on getting everything fluent before you speed it up, and nailing a lick can take weeks. Once you've been shredding for a while, it comes naturally

Songs to learn:
Eruption - Van Halen
Technical Difficulties - Racer X
Master of Puppets - Metallica (Try all downpicking as well > )
Any 1980's Glam Metal song

There will be times when you'll want to smash your guitar out of frustration, but put the gat down, go for a cup of tea/ciggy/whatever kills about 5 minutes and pick it up again.

Never give up, absolutely anything is possible. Shred on dude \m/
Ibanez TSA30 < Boss OS-2 < Custom Frankenstein Strat w/ scalloped board and Epi LP pickup