HDR is a crutch for the poor dynamic range of digital capture. But the
zone system was a crutch for the less than perfect dynamic range of
black and white film. Both, when over used have an unreal look about
them. But if you want reality, why are you doing alt photography?
Ever see a tempra print that looked real? Ever see a cyanotype that
looked real, or a van dyke? Or anything Black and white for that
matter. Don't dis a system that produces unreal photographs or you'd
be dissing photography.
But, if it is a matter of taste, then I agree with you. I don't like
the look of an over the top tone mapped HDR. Others might.