Without cache owners there wouldn't be much of a game here, so I think their wishes should be given consideration.
What I don't get is why cache owners would prefer that someone not find their cache to having someone who gets help from a third party. Sure you hid a challenging cache because it's likely you enjoy finding challenging caches. And you may feel a great sense of satisfaction when you find a difficult cache without a hint. But saying that unless you can figure out the challenge for yourself you should put a cache in the "you can't find every cache" category is just short of saying that you have an ALR to log a find you must find this without third party help.
I'm pretty sure Will Shortz publishes the New York Times Crossword Puzzle for those people who like to solve crossword puzzle on their own - without a dictionary. But he doesn't tell people that if you need a dictionary you should skip his puzzle - it wasn't meant for you. Even more, you won't see him complain when someone working the puzzle asks a family member or a co-worker, "What's a seven letter word for perspicacity?" In fact we all accept that this is how many people work crossword puzzles. I'm just not seeing the difference in a puzzle cache or a difficult hide.
Humans have a natural tendency to make things easier. Certainly that doesn't go for everyone. Some people are well know for making things more complicated than they need to be . But if you put out a difficult cache you should not be surprise if someone asks someone else for a hint.
I really hope you don't hide cache with the intention frustrating others. Or get disappointed because not everyone who likes a difficult hide will find this "the way you intended." I suspect there are plenty of people who like difficult finds and they will do what it takes to avoid spoilers, so they can feel the satisfaction of eventually finding the cache on their own. Others will still enjoy yourchallenging hides simply because they will appreciate how the cache can be in plain sight and muggles won't find it or how you constructed the camouflage so that it matches so well. Perhaps a few will see it a just another smiley - but this is rare. I've seen so called numbers caches remark how some hide like this was there favorite even though they needed a PAF to find it.
I find this statement a bit strange. One could claim that cache hiders demanding no spoilers or hints have an entitlement mentality themselves. You hid a cache for people to find. How can you possible expect that geocachers won't talk about it or share information? I have not attended even one event where some wasn't talking about the tricky cache the had found recently. Accusing people who get hints or who share hint of being "numbers" cachers with an entitlement mentality that should get a smiley for every cache is ludicrous. It smacks of the idea that the find count is "the score" instead of realizing the that real object of the game is to enjoy yourself and have fun. Yes some people enjoy solving problems and figuring out difficult cache and other enjoy not spending too much time at any cache and calling friend for hints when can't find the cache immediately. So what?