Ha! I like the analogy. I tend to shift between modes of discreet shooting and very overt shooting, I've gotten called every name in the book by now so in general I don't have a problem being noticed by the subject and will adopt whatever shooting style the camera allows for. I guess I should have specified this from the beginning; I'm interested in shooting from a tripod with a studio camera as I do all my hand held with my mamiya MF. My general strategy will be to choose a location, compose, and wait for something or someone(s) interesting to happen. I tend to think though, that while the view camera will have a much more noticeable presence than an SLR, the act of shooting will be much less overt and that subjects, overall, will be less aware that they are being photographed.
No matter what you do, if you are using a LF camera for street work, the heisenberg uncertainty principle (and hence Schrodinger's cat) apply. You cannot take a picture without your subject knowing that you have a camera. Get used to that idea.