Briefly summarized, the PDF describes design as a continuum that progresses from no conscious design to focus on style, then to the form and function level, eventually settling into problem solving, and finally, if you’re lucky, morphing into something redefining and potentially disruptive.
This almost perfectly describes my own professional development, perhaps you’ve experienced similar. Once upon a time, I was all about style. I hung around DiK and K10k and the like. Then I started solving more complex UI problems and working with CSS, which put me into the throes of the form and function phase. But simply placing elements on a page is getting old; I’m interested in influencing what those elements are in the first place, and how they work together.
All along I’ve seen shades of big picture problem solving in my work, so I don’t think you’re ever strictly confined to one level; and just because you’re a problem solver doesn’t mean style is ‘beneath’ you. That’s the one issue I’d take with the PDF as-is; the top-to-bottom layout implies a hierarchy, placing stylists at the bottom. Some days it’s my job to simply style, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.