I just posted a reply to Jeremy's thread that seems along the lines of this one...but of course I don't think my answers will be satisfactory in either case. In summary, I think for some people the technique IS the style or expression, and for others it is irrelevant, they couldn't see the point in learning enough technique to understand the question but they produce very personal art. I don't see it so much as chicken and egg for photography as a whole, more a question of whether any individual photographer needs the chicken or the egg to make THEIR personal expression.