Linear workflow and How I Stumbled Ass Backwards Into It

It all started with hitting the "create physical sun and sky" button and the disappointment that followed.  You see, my colors were all washed out in the render and I did not understand why.

dramatization :)

Then I found a tutorial that said I first needed to run my textures through a gamma correct node with a gamma value of .454, it worked but I was still confused.  The number just seemed so arbitrary and I couldn't let it go.