Mostly, experienced shooters who know their equipment by heart, get great pictures - even if they use "outdated" gear. .
One of the CR-forum users has a true writing in his profile: "The best camera is that one in your hand". At bad photographic conditions also the best cameras and lenses fail. And to be honest - if an shot has the "WOW" in its message or its just beautifully composed or hit, it is not impaired, if there are some optical shortcomings.
If you think about it, bokeh is an optical shortcoming. After all, it's out of focus! Why can't everything be in focus?
Well, because physics. [If any lurker reading this thinks, well my eyes don't have that problem, you're wrong; almost everything outside of what you are looking at is out of focus and low res, you just don't notice because as soon as your eye travels there to look, your eye focuses on it and the high-res part of your sensor (retina) is trained on it. With photos it's obvious because they won't adjust based on what part of the photo you're looking at.]
The thing is to use that shortcoming to draw attention to what you did focus on., Now I realize that's the first five minutes of the first lecture of Photography-as-art 101 (well, OK, the prof has to do an intro and administrative stuff, but the first five minutes after that), but there it is.