Thinking about this thread brought back a thought from a photo trip. I'm pretty sure it has been said before by loads of people and maybe even I had heard it somewhere but didn't just remember it.
In a sense looking at a photograph is like listening to music, for argument's sake, let's take classical music. I'm sure many of you have people with learned hearing in your family or among your acquaintances. I'm not one of those, but I know some. The people with learned hearing can tell you from what they are hearing whether the source is mp3, CD, vinyl or DVD-audio and they can distinguish the separate instruments in the orchestra. Most probably they will have a hard time settling for low quality. Now ordinary people don't have a problem listening to a 128kbps web radio station and we can even enjoy it. Of course the ordinary John Doe can tell the difference between a 128kbps, CD and vinyl (well maybe everyone can't tell the difference between the latter two) when they are played one after the other, but not when they hear just one. Well the people with good mastered musical hearing can.
Now this analogy can be equated with photography. For ordinary people a lot of photos have the WOW effect, they won't spot the flaws, lack/excess of sharpness, colours, etc. Some will be able to identify the better picture when two photos of different quality are placed side-by-side but not separately. When someone who has a lot of experience in photography looks at a photo, they will notice a lot more.
Coming to the original issue of PS vs pro glass, it can be brought down to the points above. You don't see the difference or the point in selecting pro glass over PS as for you the results of either look the same i.e. compared to a pro photographer, your eye is not that trained and hence your standards for image quality are lower. If your heart is set on photography and seriously so, then I suggest you save this thread and read it again in several years. Trust me, your opinion will be changed as then your eye will see things a lot differently. Maybe you still won't see the justification in paying $2000 for a lens, but maybe you will. Bear in mind that there are people who will pay $30,000 for a Hasselblad camera because they value quality so dearly. Remember that Hasselblad "kit lenses" start at $6000.
Basically this long rant boils down to your own standards. There is no universal right or wrong in this subject.
@NSXType-R, I've seen you stress that you don't use PS at all several times, is there a reason for it?