Visit a Salgado exhibition, and you'll notice that it's best not to look at the photos from too near. Obviously a photographer who decided that control of grain, sharpness etc. isn't the most important thing to spend time on.
I agree though.
It's a very old thing, i know, but they say that rules are best mastered, and then forgotten.
As long as you keep focussing on technique, you'll never get round to doing the things you need that technique for.