Here's another factor to consider. It's not necessarily fair, but it's the way things work. Barry retired in 2004, right ? Were there any other HOF candidates that retired that year. I can't recall any, but that doesn't mean that there weren't any.
It seems that when the 2004-2005 guys become eligible, Barry is going to stick out as a no brainer. Let's face it, they want to induct 1-2 guys every year so they get the publicity from the HOF. I think Barry is definitely in. Some lame writers probably won't vote for him on first ballot (never understood why that was such a special honor ) but I expect him to get in on the 2nd or 3rd ballot.
To me, the guy isn't even borderline. Look at recent inductees: Sutter, Kirby Puckett, etc. You can't deny Larkin based on the guys that they've recently let in.