Ard, I'm not sure I agree with you about what a purist might be, but I do like the
way you think!
I've always felt like a purist is someone who follows along the lines of the first definition that mikel listed. Unfortunately I think there might be a lot of the second definition involved in there as well too many times!
What you've written, to me, is a pretty good description of what a well rounded "fly fisher" might be. Someone who has experienced much of what can be involved in the sport.
I can't say that I've ever met a true purist, but, perhaps I did and didn't know it.
As far as interjecting opinions into the fray. Even within the definitions that mikel posted there could be room for much discussion & opinion. For example, how do we really define the "essence" of fly fishing? Even the definition of the word "essence" has several meanings.
What is adulterating or diluting influences in fly fishing? I'll bet you could get some real heated debate on that one!
What are the true "traditions" of fly fishing? Again, opinions would certainly vary! The traditions of a bass angler will certainly not be the same as those of a trout angler!
There may be some true "purists" out there when it comes to fly fishing, but I really feel that's something that has to be determined in our own minds. I don't think it can really be defined by someone else if another person is truly a purist. Although we all have our own opinions & perceptions about whether or not someone is a purist, I'm not sure we can really accurately determine it.
Fly fishing is like anything else, it's evolved, and there have been changes, improvements & refinements. What is "pure" is subject to debate.