Its a common assumption that tear sheets are important because they lend credibility to both photographers and models. As you go higher up the photographer food chain at least (not necessarily models) you will find fewer tear sheets and more straight shots and personal work. Propspective clients want to see the photography, and not have to wade through what some other art director did to your shots. As for me, I actually prefer non-tear sheets for models (at least for a major part of their portfolio) for a similar reason. I want to see what the girl looks like, and how she works to the camera, and not be distracted by art direction, photoshop creativity, or fooled by extensive retouching.
Andy Pearlman Studio