In reading all of the posts it seems like the "debate" really zeros in on an important aspect of photography as an art form - dimension.
Arguably a photograph is more than an image. The way that image is sensed by the viewer is not only by the eye but by the entire sensory system.
The texture or look of the paper or media on which it is displayed makes a difference in how the image is experienced. So, there is a huge difference between standing in a gallery in front of an original Ansel Adams print and viewing the same image on a high resolution monitor.
The question then becomes one of priority. Is it of equal importance to see the image & feel it from a physical perspective, or is the visual of the subject the top priority? Can we get the same experience from art just by looking at it or do we need to be totally witnessing it in its form of origination?
Not everyone can go to the Louvre. Can you experience the paintings there by looking at them in a book, on a computer, etc.?
I believe it may be compared to live music vs. recorded. Recordings can convey the interpretation, the performance quality, and the sound of the piece, but the live concert will add a dimension not found on the recording.
Aren't both of value? The work itself is the priority in my opinion. I can't go to hear Beethoven play his own piano sonatas but I can sure enjoy them listening to many others perform the works. Ok, you may argue that the print is part of the "composer's" work and must be linked with the image to be most effective...but, does that really take away from the value of the work in any way?
Lots to ponder.