feel free to shoot me any links to sites to help with some clarification of both.
I took up tele skiing because I was burned out with alpine. My friends were doing it and it got me into the back country with comfort.
Tele gear is lighter for the most part than alpine gear. In most conditions a competent tele skier can match a competent randonee skier in ablilty to climb and ski. Conditions that I would prefer a fixed heel for are no fall zones (which I avoid anyways) and icy conditions (not much in Summit county). If you are going to go BC in places like Teton Pass, telemark is a very natural way to go. It is easy to tour in the gear, and the conditions, typically deep powder, are a superb for telemarking. You can also alpine turn if you want. I mostly alpine turn when I'm on tele gear so my legs will last the day long, but if I'm in knee deep pow, I'll be teleing.
I haven't gone to the off-piste.com site to read their commentary. I suspect it has plenty of good side by side comparisons. The thing that really sets telemark apart from alpine (since any tele skier worth his salt can make alpine turns on their tele gear) is that you have to have legs (and buns as mudfoot points out) of steel. The telemark turn relies on your muscles, in addition to your skeleton to support you. It is very tiring.
As to the OPs reference to 'more traditional style of downhill skiing technique', telemark turns date back to Sondre Nordheim and the middle of the 19th century. 'Trad' dh skiing was developed in the early 20th century. Two Planks and a Passion is a great book about the history of skiing from the development of skiing by the Chinese many hundreds of years ago to the present. A long but interesting, and information packed, read for anyone that wants to know what skiing is really about and where it came from.
What it really comes down to is variety, challenge and options. Telemark is just another turn that alpiners can't do with their gear.
And chicks dig it.
As a matter of complete disclosure, I ski alpine gear more than I tele because I don't have the strength and conditioning to last on teles like I used to. But there is nothing like cruising along with telemark turns.