...I would say no.
There are numerous properties of lenses I care about. Color transmission seems important for digital; microcontrast never hurts. Bokeh matters to me, although whether it matters generally is always an open question. There are a number of properties that contribute to a lens being "well behaved"—for instance, you generally want the rendering to be fairly even from the center to the corners, and reasonably consistent up and down the aperture range as well as from close to far focus.
A number of properties that were crucial to film lenses have become elastic with digital processing, so they're not as critical any more. Barrel distortion, for example. Physical vignetting for another. These flaws can be adequately minimized (if not strictly completely "corrected") in post, so they're just not really that important to pictorial photography any more. Your lens vignettes a little bit wide open? Well, who cares? Just correct it if you don't like it. (I actually add vignetting more than I subtract it.)
But sharpness? I can't say I've used a lens for years that I thought was distractingly or frustratingly unsharp...if I'm just looking at pictures. I know, I know, guys online love to minutely examine lenses and triumphantly proclaim detectable differences. Big deal. Those vanishing distinctions don't make any difference when you're just looking at pictures.
Granted, I tend to own, and use, and try, lenses that are "good," and often expensive, rather than lenses that are cheap and bad; maybe unsharp lenses are out there, but they're just invisible to my view. Cellphone pictures are often inadequate, yes. Ebay pictures frequently suck. Decent lenses owned by committed enthusiasts for good cameras, though, are just almost always good enough.
I do have to say that sensors still seem to matter. I'm happier with smaller (Micro 4/3, APS-C) sensors when I'm not also shooting high-MP "full frame" sensors at the same time (D800, A900). The latter make the former look...not "bad," but let's say "less good," whereas the former look great to me as long as I don't have anything to compare them to. So that's one "cliché" that does still seem to make a bit of difference. (I was a little dismayed when I shot the NEX-6 and the A900 in tandem recently. The big dog makes the little dog look like it ain't all that.) But my opinion is that "high resolution" lenses (i.e., lenses that strive for more and more detail) just as often look a little worse than the ordinary run-o'-the-mill, as opposed to just a little better. That fussy "hi-rez" look just doesn't do anything for me.
(Note that my underlying aesthetic is that I don't like to have anything distracting me from the image. There was once a lens I got rid of because its sharpness/contrast was too upfront and in-your-face. It distracted viewers from just looking at the picture.)
Good lenses are still better than average or not-so-good lenses. But rarely because of "sharpness."
I still like lenses, and I can still talk about them all day long. But as to whether most of the lenses we can buy today are sharp enough...if we're being honest with ourselves, and looking at pictures rather than happily fussing over tests and trials...it's a solved problem, really.
My advice? If you like sharp lenses, go for it—won't hurt anything. Whatever's fun. But If you're more interested in pictures, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Find something that looks good to you and don't sweat it. It's probably plenty sharp enough.
P.S. I've just received an Olympus E-P5 for testing, in a kit with the VF-4 viewfinder and M.Zuiko Digital 17mm ƒ/1.8 (shipping soon to the GP) and I have another new lens in house to do a comparo with. More thoughts on this subject as we go forward.
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Featured Comments from:
Colin Work: "This general obsession with 'sharpness' both in the lens image itself and in post processing is I think really harming photography. Sharpness seems to be almost the sole criteria in judging the quality of an image in the various photo forums around the 'Net. My theory is this is because it's an easy way to compare images objectively—things like bokeh and color are perhaps more subjective. If you look at most of the great images of the pre-digital era shot on 35mm, very few would pass a sharpness test in today's hyper-critical internet forums. Very much a case of not seeing the wood [i.e., forest —Ed.] for the trees."