It's never been cheating. The information on the sensor -- or the negative, for that matter -- needs processing. The unprocessed information isn't really what it's about; it's about using that data to create a photograph you want. Exposure technique is about making sure you'll have the information you need when you go to make the photograph. At least that's always how I've looked at, both in the darkroom and the digital darkroom. Ansel Adams said the negative (or in this case the raw file) is the score, the photograph is the performance.