William -- NEX-5 & Ilex 80mm f1.3 @ f1.3. Click to see larger.
It' so true that you need to use the equipment for a while before you understand their characteristics. I am guilty of buying lenses and return or get rid of them after only a few days of use. I would later look at the pictures from those lenses and I actually like many of them. For me, using each lens extensively is a bit tough for, simply because I have so many of them. For some of them, I know which ones I would bring if I know what kind of pictures would be taking.
The ugliest lens I have must be the Ilex 80mmf 1.3. Seriously, people would give me disgusted looks seeing me carry that thing. Fortunately, I am way past the stage which I care about what people think of my equipment or what I shoot. Life is too short. I shoot what I want, and use whatever pleases me. Like most things, this ugly thing has its own quirks and traits. This lens is excellent for portrait with defused light and a plain, preferably dark background. Busy backgrounds will kill the pictures as the bokeh is horrible if there are highlights. If you want something soft, for kids or women, use wide aperture between f1.3 and f2.8. Within this range of aperture, the images have a slightly defused, soft look.
So, yes. Everything has its place in the universe.