I disagree with Jonny :)
"Sharp" and "Soft" are subjective opinions and often mean different things to different people. For example, "Precision Optics" has been used to promote optics for RED Epic that is unable to resolve even standard definition quality in the best of the conditions. Others make judgements of the optics by looking at a low resolution clip on YouTube....etc.
As professionals, to assess and compare sharpnes, or even discuss it in a meaningful way, we need to measure it first.
MTF graph, frquency response graphs and zone charts have been used for decades to overcome the subjective and therefore unreliable assessment of image sharpness.
To complicate things, there are many parameters that may (and usually do) affect sharpness:
2. Subject to lens distance
3. Point on the frame (centre, off-centre, edge, corner)
4. Frequency (detail)
6. Individual lens
7. Sharpenning (although completely ineffective when MTF is 0%)
8. Accurate focus
9. Recording compression
So, the same lens or recoding format can be "sharp" or "soft" depending on the specific conditions. Those conditions need to be carefully considered for the specific situation.
I wouldn't use a word "techno-nerds" because reliable, comparable and objective measure of sharpness has nothing to do with being a nerd, but rather being a professional that is capable of objective way of measuring and assessing optical and recording image quality even before going on the set and having full confidence in the camera system.
And here is a perfect example where, without shooting zone charts, the discussion goes like arguing about colours with a blind :)