The vast majority of students in any discipline will hone their skills copying proven styles--whether it's wood carving, glass blowing, knitting or aqua scaping. Like student painters copying previous era's styles--it builds firsthand knowledge and understanding (hopefully) of techniques and aesthetics.
For many, it stops there. They find a particular subset that appeals to them and spend their time exploring and refining the details of that aesthetic or technique. Or they find themselves content to follow "patterns" laid out before them--reproducing rather than doing original work. And that's fine--it's a comfortable place and a lot of folks get tremendous personal satisfaction doing just that.
For others, it's the launching point to define their own aesthetic or to push the envelope in how far a style or technique can be taken, manipulated and evolved.
In the end, I'd have to question why--assuming they aren't sharing living space with you--anyone else's aquascaping choices should be influenced by your preferences? It's like someone who designs original crochet patterns being upset that thousands of people a day still make traditional granny-square afghans; not everyone is a grand innovator, or needs to be one.