The Problem with Perfection, tOP article.
Or consider technique. Why can a flaw like flare or color cast or motion blur improve a photograph? How can blocked up shadows sometimes say more than deep shadow detail? When do the "rules" of composition become an impediment to a great shot?
Like six years ago I bought a Nikon D2x and that humongous zoom lens you saw recently. Together they were like 3 kilos! (And by the way, the D2x had more noise at 800 ISO than the Fuji X10 has at 1600, even with its much smaller size and sensor.)
That kind of equipment is ridiculous unless one is a pro and every mili-gain counts.
The only people who notice technical flaws in pictures are other photographers. The actual audience looks at the pictures, what's in them, and how they make them feel. And this is done equally well with an "adequate" camera as with a "great" camera.
Look at this, for instance, famous photo from a famous photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Very, very far from technically perfect, big grain, unsharp, blocked shadows, you name it. But it speaks.
I write about this more than once, because I'm still only learning it slowly, it's a surprisingly hard lesson to really learn, after years of struggling to Perfect one's craft.