This is true for scientific works, but as far as pieces of literature go, reading a translation as opposed to reading the original makes an immense difference. Some works are so hard to translate, that their translations are essentially new works altogether, or adaptations. This is true even for languages that are somewhat similar, such as Spanish and Italian... comparing Dante's Inferno in the two languages, for example.But the work is translated!
That's equivalent to not being satisfied with playing Mozart with a new violin. Having to get an old one of that particular time. But really? You need to realize that even if you have that old violin, it still won't be the same. Styles of playing violin has change in subtle ways, and different from person to person, that no can recognize especially something hundred's of years ago. The writing style has changed, the use of the Latin language will also most likely be different, you will never get what those have got from it before. To try and think that you will is just fooling yourself.
Of course it's impossible to read Homer the way a native Greek of the time would have understood it, but reading it in the original language with a background on the history is about as close as one can come, and I don't see how this is a waste of time.
True, we'll never know what Mozart really sounded like... but if you had the chance to find out, wouldn't you want to?
Some adaptations are done well enough that they stand out on their own, sometimes they even surpass the original... but reading the Original is often worth it. I want to learn Greek and German because I want to read Homer and Kafka, not a scholar's interpretation.
For example: various translations of the Metamorphosis refer to Gregor Samsa as having been transformed to an insect, a vermin, a monster, etc.
From what I've read, the most accurate translation should refer to him as a bug (because Kafka was in fact playing with the definition of the German word-- as in "bug" as in "bother" as well). For one reason or another, translators choose different words. In Spanish, the translation of this pun, which is vital to the story, is impossible.
His flash story "Give It Up" makes use of a pun that is even more vital for the story to make sense (the word police, or guardian). Without it, the story makes no sense... it was only once I found out about this pun that is impossible to translate that I understood the meaning of the story.