There's a photo right now in the image gallery's 1st page that clearly says by the poster that he dodged and burned digitally because he doesn't have a darkroom and everyone is praising his photo, so it's a bit confusing for me to understand what others "say" about the rules and who actually follows them.
I think in this situation, you're seeing a bit of a selection bias at work.

When you post asking about the rules and their implications, by definition, you're going to get responses from people who are, to some degree, concerned with the rules and their implications. Similarly, people who are more concerned with viewing and talking about the photo, regardless of the rules, are, by definition, more likely to go view images and talk about them, rather than participate in a discussion about the rules.