All kidding aside, this set of photos did open my eyes (damn, I should have used eye-opening as well!). In the past, I was much more likely to adjust things toward the underexposed side because I felt that it brought out the colors more but now I will be more likely to explore the opposite effect as well. So this little experiment quite literally changed my perspective 100%.
I'm think I'm still going to keep my camera on aperture priority because, for the most part, it's the best way to ensure I get the picture that I want. I happened to be reading David Jay's The System last night, a site that I bookmarked a couple of weeks ago but serendipity must have dictated that I read it now, go figure. In it, he states, "Take advantage of auto-focus, auto-exposure, auto everything so you can focus on what matters. Serving your clients, capturing beautiful moments, and making more friends." Exactly what we were talking about the other day, only he put it a lot more eloquently.