I would say that, in the incredibly picky, political world of fine arts, yes, it's a rarer to see a pencil drawing presented as a final work.
In general though, I think it depends on the piece!
If you have an incredibly grasp of line and how to use them expressively, then I think that pencil drawings can be final pieces. I think most people will accept them as finished works of art.
M. C. Escher's work is mostly lithograph, but the same works could have easily been done in graphite. I'd point you to check out John Singer Sargent and Egon Schiele's drawings for examples of other sorts of work I'd consider finished (some of it is charcoal though same principle applies).
Plus there are plenty of artists/illustrators in the world who specialize in graphite works. Can't remember names just off the top of my head, but I can check my notes if you're interested in checking some out.
But what of pencil drawings as the final product? It's rare to present a pencil drawing and say "I want this to be considered on the same level as a painting." While sketching as preparation for a final work is obviously frequently done, pencil for its own sake is not nearly as common.
I'd say pencil/pen drawings are essential to painting as well, to be honest.
I think working with Black and white media is as important as using color media, I think having a grasp of looser media as well as more controlled media is important, and above all I think a knowledge of and experience with all of those facets of creating really help to inform whatever you do decide to focus on.
In classes, we have to do process work, work that refines our ideas and visions until we create a final piece. I kinda think of your body of work and experience as just that too, process work. Everything you make builds upon what you made last, no matter how different the media. Whether 2D or 3D. There's always something to be learned or discovered that can be applied to other forms of expression.
That's kinda what I think.
So yes, if you said you hated working with graphite and never did any pencil drawings, I would also think you were missing out on a large array of opportunities to better your work.
It's not just the inconvenience and mess. I've chosen pencil and paper because I especially like the results—the uncolored, uninked results. I can appreciate painting, but at this point I don't feel that it's worth it to try painting when I don't think I would like the results any more than drawings. But I'm not saying I'll never try it in the future, when I have more time.
I have to ask, though—if I said that I didn't bother with pencil drawings as finished works and instead stuck to paintings, would you ask the same thing?
I consider it one of the benefits of autodidacticism that I don't have to bother with painting, among other things. Too messy and inconvenient.
One could argue that despite your initial disdain for the media, you may find you like it once you actually get any sort of grasp of how to apply it and that by bypassing it altogether or giving it only a brief opportunity to grab your interest, you're limiting yourself.
The Savannah College of Art and Design
maybe not the most prestigious institution for academic individuals, but he's probably the most passionate and knowledgeable professors I've encountered period. So. Yes.
lol sorry to accidentally eaves drop but I heard u liek Andrew Wyeth
He's from my 20th century art professor's hometown and used to sketch my prof and his buddies playin pond hockey when they were kids
I thought I would share this story in an attempt to bond with you
(did it work)