You brought up a very important point which is: to what extent should making data graphics be automated. I mostly agree that we shouldn’t be too limited by templates. I differ with you on the comparison to movie/music making and writing. Filmmakers, musicians and writers are all bounded by templates in some sense and limited by the samples they’ve come across. It’s just that due to the nature of their mediums, they obviously can’t plug in new data into a template and expect finished work while writing zero original content.
I’ve seen lots of great original, complex and beautiful data visualizations. As someone who believes in their power to inform and enlighten, I hope more people have the tools to “recreate” the great samples that’s already out there! They obviously should still think about their data and the best way to communicate but they shouldn’t all need to be d3 programmers. Complex tools are great for the pros but simple tools should be powerful too.