I don't mind gimmicks but if the same effect can be acheived by sleight then why not use that? Gimmicks in most cases leave you dirty and a good sleight,everything is examinable. It's all as Paddy and Rob say. If you can misdirect,use patter and not cause anyone to suspect that's good! But if you are using gimicks to take the easy way out that is bad! Not only does it hurt you in the long run, it also hurt's magic as a whole and your fellow preformers. If you give a spec the idea that everything is a gimmick then no matter who preforms and what they do it was simply a gimmick.
Check out my essay. http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/vie ... hp?t=81857
You are wrong entirely about gimmicks. In fact they actually require MORE skill to use effectively. Utilizing them with sleights, or combining the two, is as strong as you can get. Duh, why would anyone use a gimmick that could be replaced with a sleight? The fact is however that there are many ingenious gimmicks/gaffs out there that cannot even come close to being replicated via sleight of hand.
If you think otherwise, your knowledge of gimmicks and sleights is very limited. Show me "Presto Printo" with a regular deck of cards and sleight of hand. Not happening. Most "amateurs" assume that sleight of hand is a substitute for gimmicks, and they are easily spotted by those who have actually used both for decades. Any competent performer can switch gimmicks/gaffs in and out with being detected. If your spectators "have an idea" you are using gimmicks, you should not be performing yet. They are not aware of that term, this is known as "magician paranoia," which again only beginners generally suffer from.
Limiting yourself to sleight of hand is just that, limiting...and stupid above all. It is known as "magical masturbation," and usually practiced by hobbyists who are uninformed as to what real magic is about. Not the "method" of accomplishing the miracle, but accomplishing it period—in the most amazing and convenient way possible for the performer. It takes far more skill to use gimmicks effectively, and convincingly than sitting there doing DL's, false counts, and manipulations all day. However neither should be used without the other if you want the strongest magic possible.
I thought sleight of hand was the only way to go too about age 7-10. I am glad I matured and learned how to utilize both without having some stupid bias based on ego, and continue to use both for almost 30 years now. No spec has ever mentioned the term "gimmick" yet. I am a sleight geek at heart, but I am a professional entertainer first...