I think that a valuable point is the number of free parameters in a theory. We could say that a fundamental theory is what happens in an effective theory when the free parameter disappears.I wouldn't agree that effective theories are less important.
Just to throw back a reflection on this: From the inference perspective I hold, there is actually no way even in theory, to distinguish between an effective theory and fundamental theories. Or put differently, all theories are effective, and the notion of fundamental theory is just a realist remnant.
To understand effective theories as a result of inference processes, IS IMHO important
The gauge bosons in the SM are the prototypical effects. You can see them as effective, with the mass being a free parameter (and the model does not need higgs), or you can see it as fundamental theory, when the mass is generated by the Higgs.
In fact I think that when experimentalists refer to the SM, they still refer to the inferred, effective theory. It is only the theory front, and perhaps even more the science journalist front, who see the SM as the one with the Higgs. It should really be called MSM, in the same way that we call MSSM to the SSM with two higgses.