I've always been of a mind to paint intricate detail into my work. However, even my quad core machine is painfully slow when painting in Photoshop. Filters, when leveraged properly and tweaked to get rid of that "digital effect" can be incredibly powerful, and springboard your work ahead in massive jumps. A little fine tuning and brushwork can then take your art the rest of the way. So, my answer is: Both. Why put yourself at a disadvantage by not making use of all the tools available to you?
Yes. There will always be posers, unfortunately. Real artists are the ones that pioneer their techniques from the ground up! Its the journey that makes the effort worth it.
I agree with you. Technology has delivered us the ability to speed up lots of creative processes. As long as the Artist uses these advantages to enhance and further develop his/her work, all tools available should be used, as long as a good a pure creative intention lies beneath. The problem comes when people who tag themselves as Artists (and they don't have that passion in their hearts) abuse of these tools and technologies to mimic artwork that they'd never be able to produce on traditional or hand suited techniques and media. Way to go for creative honesty fused with the blessings of modern-day technologies!