I hope I'm not ruffling any feathers with this post, as I personally know some amazingly skilled and underpaid artists in this hobby of ours, but I have a "chicken or the egg" type of question coming up.
We all know the saying: "you can't judge a book by it's cover" which is totally true. However, we often do "buy a book by it's cover".
When it comes to RPG products, you can't have a rule book or an adventure without the words but you can do one without art. Art is nice, but the meat and potatoes of the product is the actual words that make it up.
When did artwork start to jockey for place the actual writing?
Marketing often seems to push the art these days and not the actual writing and rules that will be sued in play.
Most adventures are sold with the GM in mind (I know there is a huge segment of collectors, but that's a whole 'nother topic). Which means much of that art only gets seen by the GM, not the players.
Is artwork therefore more important for a rulebook that will be used by all and seen by all?
The last question is just a matter of taste an opinion:
Do you prefer full color pages in your RPG purchases, black and white are instead or black and while with color plates inserted?