Ken, I think I agree at to some degree. It pares down the experience and as a result we look at things in terms of lightness and texture. It's not that we don't do that with color images -- but we don't do it the same way. Of course color can communicate a great deal. Think about Galen Rowell's stunning photo of the rainbow over the Potala Palace in Tibet. It would take an utterly virtuoso effort for that photo to work in B&W.
Agreed. I always look for texture and dynamic lighting conditions, similar to Galen Rowell, although I work in LF. It is just as important when doing color photography.