In some ways it is simply a matter of how one approaches the craft. The densitometer is a great tool for someone who is very analytical and likes a certain amount of precision and consistency. It allows you to compare batches of film, match negs to paper and very usefull in determining what exposure is best for certan films that wil be printed via alternative processes.
However, what makes makes an ideal density range for me may be different for others. I have gotten used to the practice of photographing certain "test" scenes, developing test shots at various times to produce the "right " neg and then printing for evaluation. This can be a long process with a new film, light meter, or recently purchased used lens etc, but I am a visual learner and have to see results as a picture and not a graph.