For every 100 game ideas I have, maybe 10 of them make it to the prototype stage, and only 1 of them ends up being a game I actually pursue. It’s just part of the process—sometimes it’s good to know that something just isn’t all that compelling so I feel good spending my time elsewhere.
I like to think about my board game purchases in terms of more than "how much plastic, wood, and cardboard did I get for X dollars?" I'm paying for the passion, talent, and experience that informed every aspect of the design. I'm paying for the idea. I'm paying for the experience.
If you’re playing a game with a theme, you have to feel it in the gameplay. You should be presented with the same problems and situations as those who experienced that theme first-hand. In addition, you’ll very often come up with mechanics that you otherwise would never have thought of.
The point remains: the criticism by strategy-purists of games that involve some degree of chance is not wholly valid, not only because random tests can improve other aspects of the game, such as fidelity of simulation, but also because if chance is used sufficiently frequently, and with sufficient care, strategic elements will still dominate outcomes. Thus, strategy and not luck will remain the most important factor in play.