I think this is a well thought out piece and I enjoyed reading it. It reflects many things that I have always felt , but never really was able to put into words. Since my short time here on APUG, I have seen many AA bashers who seem to be that way for reasons that you precisely point out early in your article. My own respect for AA lies principally in that, through learning the ZS and the art of visualizing the desired end result, I have never seen or thought about my subject more clearly, and thus my entire photographic experience is all the better because of it-----the whole process has become amazingly "fluid" and free.
His legacy, at least for me, is in what he has taught me and not really what he photographed. In addition I would say that his enthusiasm is so pervasive in his writings that it is infectious to me and what I try to do today, and I have not really experienced that with anyone else's work--although I admire others' contributions too. John Sexton was interviewed one time and was asked a question something about what AA's legacy was to him. It was, if I remember, his unfailing enthusiasm for what he did. He remarked that even at the age of about 80, Adams one day emerged from the darkroom with such excitement (child like) about finally getting the print that he had visualized when he made the negative in, I believe, sometime in the 30's.
Well, again, it is a good article.