It might be trolling, but it is a question that really promotes debate.
I think it boils down to why you want to play the guitar. If all you want to do is copy songs, you can be a "robot player", and do it very very very well. I would be very impressed by somebody who could play a whole set of guns n roses songs note for note, even if they did not even know the pentatonic scale.
On the other side, I do like the freedom that a little bit of theory gives me if I choose to play a song or solo differently one night, or if I choose to add my own fills here and there.
However, just because I might choose to play things differently, doesn't mean I play them better, and it doesn't mean that people listening prefer it either.
All in all I enjoy not being a purely tab player, but the audience couldn't tell the difference, and a really good tab only player is worth ten of me any day of the week as far as the crowd are concerned.
"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)