Does projecting work in regards to red pointing hard routes? Yes, it absolutely does. Is climbing really hard routes important for everyone? Absolutely not. I know for me, I would have never accomplished my first V10 had I not spent two months on it, ripping tips and wiring moves.
I think climbers, in general, become really attached to their achievements. With that said, it seems like everyone will have their own approach, and their own style in regards to what they are trying to get out of climbing. For me, climbing is what I love to do. It is a big part of my life (my girlfriend can attest to that), and is always on my mind. For a long time, and when I was younger, all I cared about was ticking harder and harder routes, purely for the numbers. What I lost in the process was really getting "to know" the route. I think projecting routes is an awesome experience, where you get to learn many things about your mental and physical abilities. For me, I now looks for projects without a guide book. I look for asthetically pleasing lines, with a variety of moves. If it's hard, it will end up being a project.