Holy chicken or egg, Batman!
Weird thread, in that I can't disagree with anything that's been said.
In general, I think most of us were initially drawn by the desire to make pictures, not own equipment, or obsess about technique. We quickly discover that we have to get good enough at technique that our pictures aren't limited by our technique.
Some people go down that long slippery slope of ever more technically perfect static pictures (which is viewed on this forum as being bad), while others never produce anything original enough that their vision overcomes their mediocre technique.
I do think that most of the really good photographers mastered technique (according to their natures) and now concentrate on the "vision" thing.
I've personally decided that "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights" is good enough for me. I've picked my favorite film and paper and focal length. I've gotten past the pictures of the kids growing up stage. Now it's time to have fun working on getting past the mediocre vision thing, with the emphasis on the having fun part.
BTW, poor Aggie, she's like a teacher who gave multiple choice test and all the students wrote essays on the back!