Rob, That's the old Ansel Adams dictum: "The negative is the score. The print is the performance." As I've said before, ("baloney!" since this is a family forum) You make the picture when you trip the shutter. The objective of post-processing, whether it's for a monitor, a projector, or a print, is faithfully to carry out what's in the negative or the file. HCB isn't the only photographer who depended on a good professional printer to make his prints. Jennifer is a street photographer. I partially can buy into AA's argument in the case of landscape, since in most cases there isn't much there anyway, but it doesn't make any sense at all in street photography where the capture is the picture.
There's one thing I probably should have added to my blurb about a gallery's need to make a buck: When you start a new gallery you need, at first, to experiment in order to find out what your market is. This is especially true in a smaller community where there isn't an established art market. And even after you've established your market you need to try new things from time to time. That's always a gamble, but if you don't do it your gallery's arteries gradually will harden and your market will begin to move on. My advice to anybody looking for a gallery for the first time is try to find a gallery that's just getting started. Even with an established gallery it's still worth a try, especially if your stuff departs a little, but not too far, from the kind of thing the gallery's showing.
"You make the picture when you trip the shutter."
But how it looks and what it says depends on how you print it.
"The objective of post-processing, whether it's for a monitor, a projector, or a print, is faithfully to carry out what's in the negative or the file."
But only the shooter can know what that is: without him it's inevitably nothing but interpretation whether by machine or hand-printer. There is no such thing as a straight print via either method. Every single way depends on someone's arbitrary setting up of the process and choices made en route. You could send the same negative to a thousand D&P units and get as many different versions of 'straight'; ditto with a thousand, expensive, hand-printers charged with the same order.