Hey there Rev,
Thanks for the compliment and happy new year as well. To answer your question about why I prefer zoom lenses over prime lenses is easy enough. I shoot weddings, so the less I have to carry around the better. My current wedding kit consists of this:
5D Classic w/ 24-70 2.8L USM & 580EX II.
7D w/ 70-200 2.8L IS USM & 580EX II.
With enough CF cards /NiMH batteries to choke a horse.
All attached to my person via Black Rapid Double Strap.
Its kind of goofy, but its the easiest way to carry everything I need with me. One could argue that my focal lengths don't meet up (because of the 1.6 crop on my 70-200, I'm missing out between 70-112mm). Personally, the longer reach more than makes up for it, and I've never really found that I miss 85mm (as the 24-70 @ 70mm w/ its short minium focusing distance looks similar to 85mm.)
If I was a commercial photographer I could see the justification of having a set of L Primes covering key focal lengths, but the versatility of zooms far outweigh the benefits of sharpness, lower distortion / pincushioning etc. (Most, if not all of those can be remedied to some extent with good post processing.) The only thing I miss are the wider apertures of prime lenses. This has forced me to get over the "Anything Over ISO 400 Is Garbage" stigma. Noise can be controlled, and seldom does it ruin images I've sized for web or 8X10 prints.
All this being said, I still have the first lens I bought, the 50mm 1.8, as a light walk around lens. I had the 50 1.4, but sold it when I bought the 24-70. (I could get into the 1.8 vs 1.4 discussion, but as far as I'm concerned both lenses are awesome.)
Hopefully that answers your question Rev.
PS. ND's are amazing, try stacking them on top of a good circular polarizer to get 4.5 or 10.5 stops of ND for super slow happy times. (Especially on a stormy day at the beach.)
PPS. No posts are complete without another image.
My sister always makes a good test subject.
70-200 2.8L IS USM
580EX II in a DIY strip light camera left, behind the subject.
580EX II in a beauty dish high camera right.
Power level was controlled via radio popper cubes, so I couldn't tell you the exact output (Not too high, as the ISO was raised for shorter recycle times.) Lights were positioned so that they could fall off onto the background to make it a nice dark grey.