I think we'll have to disagree here. I can honestly say that when i look at photography that doesn't interest me, i take nothing from it. I have a very short attention span so something has to grab me, if it doesn't i don't bother wasting my time going back to it. Take Shane Lynam for example, he started following me on tumblr, i followed back, i looked at his site and his flickr and there hasn't been a day go by since that i haven't looked at his work. Something has to grab me like that.
As for copying other's work, i never even attempt that anymore. Shirley Baker once said that everytime she attempted to copy another photographer's style, she failed. I've been there and done that and learned my lesson long ago. I just love to sit and look at photographs that interest and inspire me.
Ehrm... I'm saying pretty much what you're saying. You say you love to look at other photographers' work that grab you. Isn't that what I recommended?
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".