It took me a while to figure it out, and I think the same is true for many photographic hobbyists. Back then you started with a 50 mm lens on your 35 mm SLR, and the first lens you lusted for was something longer. What could be cooler than extra reach, right? Then 100-200 mm wasn't long enough, and you needed 300-400 mm. It just seemed obvious that bringing the subject in closer, with a cleaner & simpler composition, made for a better picture.
It took me a lot longer to appreciate subtle compositions possible with a wide angle lens. Call it context; the main subject in detail, but also enough background to see where it lives. Yeah, the huge flower in your face up front with the mountain in the background may have been done to death by now, but there are lots of subjects and situations where the wide angle perspective really tells a story. I think it takes considerably more visual sophistication to compose successfully with a wide angle, but when it works, it really works.
Stitched panos really have a different aesthetic, at least to my eye. They're about the side-to-side sweep, what it feels like to look out from a certain place and time. Most of mine are shot with longer focal lengths and don't provide a wide angle perspective; as always of course YMMV.