I mostly agree with you on the topic of search.
One should be consistent on how one names their files and where one stores them. I am often asked to pull up a document that I wrote 7 or 8 years ago and it takes me a minute or two to find it. I am pleasantly surprised at how consistent my naming and storage conventions are. I suspect this habit comes from my days with DOS where consistency was essential.
If you are not consistent with naming conventions, then any Search tool can be The Great Enabler. It allows you to get very sloppy about where you saved things and how you named them.
Where Search tools come in very handy is when you are asked to find something someone else saved on their computer, file share, or in a pst. This is a big part of my help desk staff's job.
Search also comes in handy for finding programs that you don't use very often. (see my previous example of finding defrag.)
I caution my users to be consistent but some users don't listen. (sigh)
Not surprisingly, I find that a user's messy workspace is often a good indication of messy file storage habits. Occasionally, I come across a user who has a messy workspace but somehow knows exactly where everything is (in their office and on their hard drive) but in my experience, that kind of user is very rare.
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