As soon as you detail a picture (sharpness, bokeh, ...), you miss the point. A picture is a whole. Of course people can use less than perfect equipment as it might ease what they try to convey but what matter is not the technical trick, it is the result: can you "see" beyond the picture or not?
I agree with you, and it is for sure the end result that I find important. The print, to me, is everything, and I'm usually not particularly interested how it was created, as long as it speaks loudly to me. Usually pictures that speak to me are strong in content, composition, gesture, emotion, mood, presence, culture, visual impact, and print quality. I think all of those things are added by the person creating the print, and the equipment and materials used to get there are simply a funnel through which all of those things are transmitted, from brain and spine, to the print surface.
"...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".