The biggest impression for lens shade use was made on me about three decades ago at a Hasselblad/Zeiss seminar. At the meeting room entrance was a life-size enlargement of a model. People were climbing all over it with their pocket magnifiers, talking excitedly about crispness and detail down to the finest clothing threads.
The first part of the presentation was about lens flare, glass coatings, baffles, interior paint, etc. Just before the break, they brought in an enlargement of a shot made a few seconds after the one at the entrance, but this one was shot with a lens shade. No other changes. They put it up next to the first one. Mind-boggling! Instantly, the first print became "ordinary."
If you want to squeeze out everything the finest lenses can give you, use a lens shade. Even if you're after a soft, ethereal look, shoot it sharp at least once so you'll have it. In Photoshop, you can soften a sharp original, but you can't reverse a soft one.