I have been on a bit of a quest to get my post work better and to learn to re-touch portraits. So I've taken some time out to read what I can and to practise. The thing is once to get on the pro re-touching angle everything starts to make sense. No more bluring of skin, no patching and infact no harm to pixels at all.
Lets look at it this way, we spend a fortune on cameras that can capture the smallest detail, along with the sharpest lenses. We shoot in raw (well at least we should) and then it comes to making some modifications to the image in photoshop and if we read some of even the best photoshop gurus, we get started with patch tools, clone tools etc and of course the blur tool to "smooth the skin" What we are doing is damaging pixels, you might not know it at first, but I can bet if you get an image printed large, and I do from time to time, you will notice the damage.
Recomendation for you, go and read works from Gry Garness Better still go any buy her retouching for CS4, its so worth the money at £24. Learn to re-touch with simpathy.
Beleve me, photoshop is so much better when No Pixels where harmed.