A few points I'd like to make here. First, on the subject of running baits into things. As an angler who was confined to shore for most of my life, I can tell you that in that situation, anything with treble hooks that gets snagged is usually as good as lost, unless you have heavy enough line to muscle it out, assuming that's even possible. For years I had to avoid sinking cranks, and could only use deep divers in limited situations, so I can understand the reluctance people have to run their lures into stumps, especially with crankbaits climbing to $8-10 & more, or the amount of time spent making your own. I'm getting over it, but losing a crankbait is still irritating.
I will certainly agree that what is most important is finding fish and getting them to see your bait. You also want to show them something that looks/sounds/feels somewhat real (i.e. not pink/chartreuse in clear water on a sunny day). But if it's that simple why don't I just fill my box with the cheapest off-brand lures and catch all kinds of fish (once I find them)? All predators have an instinct to chase prey and expect prey to run and react to their presence. It's the reason cats chase string, dogs chase tennis balls, and you don't want to run from a bear. A long time ago I read something that said to twitch a topwater as soon as it hits the water or a worm as soon as it hits the bottom, because fish hear the splash and swim to investigate, and bigger fish are used to baitfish reacting to their presence. That's what lures that 'hunt' or 'evade' are trying to trigger. The only "evading" lure I have experience with is the scatter rap. It works well for me, but the interesting thing is it seems to work when other lures don't, and not as well when they do. On one occasion, I had been casting cranks off a point with no luck, and finally I threw a scatter rap in the bluegill color and caught a crappie on the first cast, and a green sunfish a few casts later. On another occasion, I had spent 2 hours using cranks, topwaters, jerkbaits, and lizards, to produce 2 7" bass, in an area that I knew had more. On the first two casts with the same scatter crank I caught a 10" bass, and hooked a larger one that managed to spit it out, then over the next 90 min I caught a 10" bluegill and 6 more bass, 4 of which were over 14". After experiences like these, I tried throwing it more, and had the opposite experience. Catching nothing in familiar places with the scatter crank, and then switching to other baits and catching fish. I'm still not sure how much I like the scatter rap line, and some versions are definitely better than others, but I'll keep one or two will in my tacklebox.
I also have to admit that I'm a bit of a lure 'nerd'. I like finding unusual lures, and baits with different actions, and not just for catching fish. Granted, I'm not going to spend $20 on a crankbait that doesn't work any better than your typical squarebill, but they do interest me. You can learn from these baits with exaggerated actions how lures move through the water and what caused them to do what we want them to do or don't want them to do, and apply that to your own lures. Stephen King gave this advice to aspiring writers (I'm paraphrasing, it's been a while)- "Read good books, read bad books, so you know what to avoid, read what you love, read things you would never read, read the classics and authors you've never heard of, read everything you can get your hands on." In the same way, it's good for lure makers to be familiar with different lure types.