Jacob has added some good comments to the previous discussions about image manipulation/alteration or whatever you want to call it. Clearly he is disturbed by and part of the image being created new in the editing process. For him it's ok to adjust pixels, just not create them. While I don't know the figures, I would guess that 90% of photographers are comfortable with minor editing - the removal of an errant blade of grass, a pop can or a twig, leaving the scene fundamentally the same and recognisably so.
Just to muddy the waters (hey, I'm having fun with this discussion), lets take a scenario in which fidelity to the original might be important. Someone is contemplating visiting a particular spot, say Columbia Ice Field, and they look at my photograph of same and expect to see that when they get there. As it happens there are no "new" pixels in this image. I only made contrast adjustments to better balance the shadows and highlights and were you there that November afternoon, you would recognize it in the image. On the other hand, our prospective visitor goes in the summer in the middle of the day and things look totally different and he's quite disappointed. Many had the same experience with Ansel and Yosemite.
Back to our pop can. I'm photographing Red Rock Canyon in Waterton Park. I photograph it digitally, adjusting colour to the way I remember the location. Someone else photographs it with Velvia film and produces highly saturated colours which are frankly over the top when printed. On the other hand, I digitally remove a pop can from the ravine which wasn't visible in his shot. People look at his image and go "oh wow!" and others comment on my image - "that's exactly as I remember it". SO which one of us shouldn't be called a photographer?
For some, the answer is easy, I created pixels while the other photographer only manipulated them. For others the issue isn't nearly as clear cut, and for some of us, who care only about the resultant image, it's who cares?
In truth, I'm a little bothered by my very biased stand here. I can think of examples in which manipulation seems like cheating to me. I was incensed as anyone when National Geographic moved the Great Pyramid because I think National Geographic is about reporting and not art. If someone took a very ordinary looking mountain and somehow in Photoshop stretched it to look more grand than Everest it would bother me a bit - even though I'd have to follow my own words above and agree that it's only the end product that matters.
In my photography, I do create pixels at times. Uusally the percentage of created pixels vs. manipulatd ones is a tiny fraction and in landscape work, my images do largely reflect the original scene with only normal photographic controls available to traditional darkroom workers, with perhaps a bit more fine control. I might well remove the Pepsi can or the errant twig or blade of grass but if you took a print to the scene, you could certainly recognize it.
The biggest cheat I have done is to extend the length of a block of steel in one of my machine shop images. I had reservations about doing it, did "fess up" at the time, and still have doubts about it, but it sure made for a better composition, and I could have moved the steel up by the same amount so it isn't totally unnatural - just sort of. Still, you'd recognize the scene just fine from the print.
Occasionally I will "fill in" a small triangle of image corner in which no matter how hard I tried to compose perfectly, I could either include the extraneous corner or crop out a vital part of the image.
Perhaps some of you will be so disturbed by this confession that you will be unable or unwilling to return or to check out my images. I respect that viewpoint even if I don't happen to think it very practical in today's digital world. For me it's rather like the people who feel only a true contact print from the original negative is acceptable, none of this fancy modern enlarging crap for them. More power to them, if their images are good enough to warrant the trouble they take.