It has been a question repeated again and again in the ham radio which is superior or dominant, contesting or ragchewing. I have read through that sort of discussions in the recenet CWops reflector. The contesters always insist that there are different ways of enjoyment in ham radio. Enjoy each aspect of ham radio for yourself, as their slogan says. They are always active and sound like the majority in the club.
It seems that their saying is right from the point of view of the general ham radio operation. No difference between the way of enjoyment in ham radio. Even chance to use the bands for contesters as well as ragchewers.
I should say it is not right or fair. In reality, a lot of weekends especially in fall and spring are occupied by contests. During contests, the conventional bands are not usable for ragchewers. When ragchew oriented hams find the bands messed by number or unknown ciphers exchanging stations, all they could do is just to turn off the radio and to leave the shack in disappointment. What a loss for them to give up the good conditions in those seasons! The relationship between contesters and agchewers could never be that of win win type. But they exclude each other in a sense. The ragchewers are always defeated by the contesters.
Since I have been watching the bands for decades, I know most contesters won't go on their activities for over a decade or so. If they are interested in only contesting, it seems to me, they are destined to quit it in several years. On the other hand, raghewers are always long living on the air. I often enjoy reunion on the air with old friends after decades of absence. They are always good ragchewers. This fact may mean ragchewing is essential to ham radio activity and keeps us enjoying ham radio long time.
In conclusion, ragchewing and contresting are exclusive each other. We should consider which weighs more to us in our long ham radio lives.