Re: your thoughts on synthetics
another thing to remember is that there are no substitutes for certain natural fly tying materials.
some synthetic materials comes close but they just dont have the qualities that a natural material produces
peacock herl is a good example
tie what you like, with what you like to use.
YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!
Fly tyers can be masters of making things complicated!
You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.