A combination of high sensor surface area and high lens element surface area represents a significant advantage. Maximizing the total signal level (sensor illuminance) while using longer shutter times and, or wider apertures is often an advantage. More signal also means less relative photon noise levels.
In principle, simply increase lens surface area can compensate for reduced sensor areas. In practice, this is impractical because with current optical technologies those lens would be very large and expensive.
I think we are about 5 years away from a new generation medium format digital sensors (larger than the current 44 x 33mm sensors) becoming the standard for the highest level of sensor performance and APS-C and m4/3 becoming the preferred platforms for people who value the advantages of smaller and lighter gear.
“Basically, I mean, ah—well, let’s say that for me anyway when a photograph is interesting, it’s interesting because of the kind of photographic problem it states—which has to do with the . . . contest between content and form.