I'm in favor of maximizing both soul and chops. Whatever you can do to play better and have something to say when playing helps. Obviously as a music teacher and "weird rock guitar player with classical music degree" technique and theory are things I love. But, like many of you I've heard all sorts of music that requires great skill to play that leaves me emotionally empty. A good example is a lot of 20th century "classical" music - which takes a ton of technique and often sounds like sheer noise. Much modern jazz is like that too, as is a lot of shredder guitar music. Whenever the technique becomes the end in itself, rather than a means to an emotional or artistic end, then the music suffers.