This is certainly a great discussion with good points from all sides. Being a young guy still trying to find my "style", I can see the merit in all approaches to finishing models - factory fresh, used and abused, exaggerated, etc - and have much respect for a well-built model of any style.
With the platitudes out of the way (though sincere) I'll throw my opinion into the ring. Factory fresh, shiny models just look like toys to me. Personally I like a model that really grabs your attention. I like the way the "spanish style" really stands out, though as with everything it can be overdone. Like Jamie, I think references are important and enjoy trying to duplicate what I see in photos of actual aircraft. My ideal finish is somewhere in between a flashy, stylistic approach and a photorealistic weathered model.