Sharpness is important and for sharp pictures you need the right gear. But what do you need most for sharp pictures?
* exact focusing,
* optimal aperture,
* either fast shutter speed or heavy tripod,
* clear sunlight or flash,
* if available big format (the bigger the better, film or sensor is unimportant)
* and experience in developing and printing (unimportant whether files or film).
Lens design is only one factor, perhaps a minor one, most important in case of the lens is, that it is perfectly centered and adjusted to the camera.
Don't forget correct exposure and optimal contrast play a part in sharpness. There are plenty of people who don't need or want lenses so sharp but I'd rather have mine sharp and have to soften it in post (which I'll never do) than to need it sharper and not be able to.
Having said that, I do agree with the OP that sharpness is by no means the only characteristic people should be looking at when choosing a lens. There are many more factors that go into that decision and in the end it's up to the individual to decide if it's worth it.