To me... sharpness is a curse!
Let me explain. For me, it is frustrating when I see individuals, be it on a review website, youtube channel, or forum, conduct a sharpness test on a lens and then write-off whichever lens is less sharp as the inferior lens. I have seen this happen time and time again. It is true, that some lenses may be simply bested by others, but generally sharpness is only one factor of this equation.
I do understand the importance of objective tests. With objective tests, we can determine if a lens is optically different
than another lens. I struggle to say improved, as I have seen many examples of a lens that falls short on the standard array of optical tests (sharpness, falloff, CA being the ones I see most discussed) yet end up delivering subjectively fantastic results.
For a personal example, I will go back to a lens I like to discuss a lot - the 50L. This lens is by far my #1 favorite lens bar none, no comparison. If I was only allowed to have one lens, it would be the 50L. Now, I have a lot of lenses that are sharper than the 50L (i.e. 24-70 II, 70-200 II, 100L come to mind). But, there is something about their output that subjectively I do not like as much. I also love the subjective output of the 85L II, but I'd still rather have the 50L because the 85L II requires too much working distance for many photos - so with the 85L II I would miss a lot of opportunities. 50L can do pretty much everything, and make it all look beautiful.
I also find it frustrating when lenses without a red ring get ignored simply because they don't have a red ring. For instance, the new 24 IS, 28 IS, and 35 IS are all brilliant lenses. The 24 IS is one of Canon's best landscape lenses in the entire lineup, because at f/11 it is ultra sharp AND virtually free of flare even when shooting into the sun (no L can claim this) - plus it looks great subjectively and is extremely portable! If I was a landscaper, this would be a *must have* lens for me. But I often see it ignored, and I think its because its not an "L". The 35 IS is finally appearing to get some credit thankfully with pro reviews declaring it overall superior to the aging 35L 1.4, which I agree with despite both being excellent. The old 35L's bokeh just isn't as good when its not wide open - the 35L does still have a purpose for those who need f/1.4, but it really needs an update IMO.
Again, I think objective tests are important. Perhaps our tests are not yet advanced enough to fully describe a lens' output, and that is the issue. And, I do appreciate the objective tests to learn more about a lens' characteristics. But, I think that is only part of the process, and wish more "reviews" and discussions of lens quality focused an equal amount of time on subjective factors - as it appears the objective tests simply are not there yet.
But sharpness is easy to understand, easy to test, and easy to see differences in... Making it an easy thing to get hooked into and focus on almost exclusively. But remember, in the end, while some of us are documenting things where sharpness is the #1 priority, others are capturing moments in time where sharpness is not the most important factor. If you are not doing clinical work that really does require edge to edge sharpness, remember that in the end its not about sharpness - its about capturing the moment. Might save you a bit of money over time too