Thanks everyone for the comments so far. In many ways opinions are the most important thing here.
I have a traditional outlook - I guess that was my reason for posting. But I am beginning to conclude that this point of view might be a drawback and does it really have any justification?
As your question implies, there is no right or wrong on this. For me, diving opened a beautiful world that very few of us ever see. I was drawn to UW photography as a way to try to capture that beauty and take it home with me. As I've gained experience, I've found that just taking underwater snapshots (photos where the fish or reef is recognizable) is not enough.
I'd love to progress in my technical ability to be able to touch the art of underwater photography (defined by me as creating images that convey some of that beauty and emotion to both my fellow divers and 'unenlightened' friends).
The odds of achieving my goal are very low if I don't continue to work very hard on the 'in camera' capture side of the equation. I am also devoting a lot of time to understanding the 'digital darkroom' side of the equation. With time, I'll be able to see progress.
The risk for me is to allow the software to become a bandaid instead of a tool to better understand what is possible.
In closing, I think we are all on different but similar paths and can use these tools to reach our individual goals/visions.