The way we handle image detail is every bit as important to the final appearance of our images as is the way we handle tone and color. Yet detail control has, thus far in the short history of digital imaging, received far less attention than those other, admittedly crucial, aspects of imaging.
For years, I like most practioners did sharpening as an ad hoc, seat-of-the-pants procedure until the realization slowly dawned that by flailing around trying different sharpening tricks, I often created extra work and produced results that, while acceptable, weren't nearly as good as they should be.
In evangelizing the workflow approach to sharpening that I've taken throughout this book, my goal has been to educate and inform, but also to move the discussion forward. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I hope you've found useful the ones I do have.