Honestly I still think certain aspects of a 'look' are overstated by some people who like to be 'hipster-ish'. However, there is a certain look to some lenses for sure. Just like there is a look to most film that I've never seen replicated by presets.
However, IMO it definitely depends on both the lens and the subject. There are images with 'pop', I don't think there are lenses with 'pop' - i.e. lenses that can make any image 'pop'. Same with 3D rendition. I reckon given just the right subject I can probably take a shot with the 70-200 f4 IS and make it 'pop'. But for most subjects, it's a whole lot harder than with a 135L.
I've seen some really amazing photos with old lenses. But for most applications those lenses where s**t.
I definitely agree that sharpness is not everything. I know some people use 50+MP, but the number of people her making 3ft prints is pretty darn small.
I must admit I wouldn't mink my 135L being a bit sharper wide open, but if that meant it looked like the 70-200 II, then no thanks.