Seems like an appropriate opening for something I've been thinking about since reading KCMai's comments regarding johne's excellent "Swimming Lady" composite.
WAY back when, I read "Up the Organization" by Robert Townsend. In it, he tells a little anecdote about the importance of knowing what your business is. As I recall, the major telegraph company of the day turned down the opportunity to buy controlling interest in the telephone(?) because, clearly, they were in the telegraph business. If they had realized that they were actually in the communications business, things might be different for Western Union today.
It's happening (has happened?) to photography with digital processing, even more than retouching. Seems to me that the image is the issue, not whether it accurately contains all of the information that was contained in the collection of photons bounced off the subject and trapped on the sensor - but simply, did you get the image you wanted to create. Seems to me that today, more than ever, the business is creating images, not "photographing."
Just thought I'd throw that out there.
"Keeping shooting will do more for the excellence of your photography than most any camera will!" JimmyD, PGS Extraordinaire.