Let me start this by saying that I understand your point entirely. I shoot only film now because I didn't enjoy the process of shooting digital. It wasn't "satisfying", as you said it, to me anymore. There is no difference between me looking up the characteristics of different films on Flickr and other people shooting lens caps to test noise, blowing up 100% crops to check sharpness, or doing any other sort of "test" to asses technical image quality. If your an artist you have to understand your medium and be able to manipulate it. Photographer, cinematographer, painter, carpenter, whatever.
I'm all for "gear whoring", if you will, up until the point where it has no effect on the art itself. If you take pictures just because you like seeing perfect corner sharpness or zero noise without trying to convey a larger message, all the power to you, but don't call yourself a photographer. As a photographer or videographer, working as an artist and not just someone who likes cameras, you have to be able to identify the point where the "image quality" stuff doesn't affect the "content" stuff. The "power" stuff. The "wow" stuff. The "goosebumps" stuff. You can't be so focused on the gear in your hand that you forget to get creative.
Debates over sharpness, noise, etc. have a time and a place. They're important and I'll be the first to advocate them. But, when you have to turn to a forum and have other people tell you what camera is better or what lens is sharper when they're looking at the exact same sample pictures you're looking at, I think it's gone a little too far.
"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept"