I couldn't care less if a photographer crops or not. The only thing that matters to me is the final image. How they arrive at that image is their concern. The truth is that among the masters of photography, HCB was something of an anomaly with respect to his attitude toward cropping. Far more of the greats cropped when they felt it was called for, than not. This is not to say that they were pro-cropping, it only means they weren't dead set against it. HCB himself cropped early in his career, before he became obsessed with the infallibility of first impressions.
No one should feel constrained by what HCB advocated. What worked for his style of from-the-hip street photography doesn't make sense for a landscape photographer trying to line up the best shot. Nature doesn't always cooperate. Sometimes you shoot knowing that afterwards you're going to crop and how. And anyone can see things the second time around they missed the first time. It doesn't impugn your artistic talent.
The list of great photographers who occasionally cropped is as long as your arm, but here are a few to ponder: Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, Walker Evans, W. Eugene Smith (frequently), Edward Weston, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Man Ray, Arnold Newman, Alberto Korda, Josef Koudelka, Andreas Feininger.
None of them thought they were lesser artists for cropping, and neither should anyone else.