Bokeh, bokeh, bokeh! There, I just wanted to get that out. I have NEVER heard anyone on this forum refer to bokeh as defocused anything because it isn't defocused at all, or blurry.
Gee, I never thought of myself as a wonk, a bourgeois or overblown ( and let's not forget film twit which never got mentioned, and I like very much, but then I'm a film twit, so I would). You kind folk have saved me a fortune on bills for a therapist!
Bokeh is part of the photograph unless you're shooting something stopped down intentionally, like a landscape or something. Like anything, it can be overdone, but I much prefer overdone bokeh to busy "bokeh" (which does not deserve to be called bokeh, it's just nervous noise). A smooth and pleasant background is what you want for portraits and for a lot of other stuff photographically. That's why they sell all those fake smoothish backgrounds to studio portrait photographers. But w/ a good lens you can have your own private studio wherever you and your camera go. For someone like me that only works w/ darkroom prints, bokeh is a big deal. Especially w/ Nikon lenses, which are sharp but often exhibit an ugly, edgy background, the H 50 2 lenses being the rare exception.
Film choice, developer choice, wet printing paper and toning, these are all fundamental parts of photography that influence image characteristics. Bokeh is as important as sharpness. I would argue that it's much more important because a lot of people seem to be able to make inexpensive sharp lenses, but a lens w/ good bokeh is always priced at a premium.