Michael, by "computer" and "the easy way out" I am assuming that you are referring to the use of the scanner. The scanner shows me an unbiased image of my negative, what its supposed to look like. Without it I would be chasing my tail, no way to tell me what I'm doing wrong. Eventually I hope to move beyond this stage, to be able to read and interpret the negative, and print accordingly. But I'm not there, I'm still painting by the numbers. Michael, check out post number 2 of this thread, six months ago I did not even have a scanner.
Taking the easy way out? Not when it has taken up to 15 work prints just to get it to look like the scan, that's at 45-minutes per print.