Re: Is it fair to play live with a metronome?
"Fair"? What would be "unfair" about it? It's actually really hard to do if you're the only one with the click in your monitor, because the other musicians tend to deviate from the steady pulse, and it's solely your job to reel them back in. Try doing THAT and play with feel.
>>>So, to me, it's unfair for the drummer to have a click if the other musicians don't listen to the drummer or have a click themselves.<<<
As for the should/shouldn't factor, there are many situations out there that demand a click track...playing live with backing tracks, playing for a musical (more and more are using them, I've noticed), playing for a recording session, etc... There are plenty of reasons to work it up if you want to be a working drummer, having good time not being the least of them.
Click tracks shouldn't be dismissed because you think that they don't allow the music to breathe or that they're stupid or whatever. It would be like me dismissing country music because I don't like to listen to it. It's still out there, and it has its place, and I'll do the gig if it pays well enough, but it's not what I aspire to...