Even if I want to set a particular shutter speed (for deliberate blurring effects for example) I'd tend to adjust in A mode rather than S.
Me too! So shooting in A mode is not exactly a crime right?
You can't base a photographers "skill level" on what shooting mode he shoots
Photography and the outcome of the photographers pictures are not based on what shooting mode was used.
Shooting in M, A, S, P, AUTO, or any other modes makes no difference. As long as you learn something in the end, and you compose a nice photo, the camera is there just to give you correct exposure (sometimes
But seriously, I know wedding photographers who put the camera onto Auto mode and just shoot away. Do their clients know what the difference between Auto or Manual is? Probably not... and do they care? No... All they want is beautiful photos.
So don't let a puny shooting mode factor whether or not you are a good photographer, noob, or pro. Makes no difference.
Each have an advantage. I shoot A for a lot of my shots. But I leave it on M when I do studio portraits because I'm firing more than 2 strobes(monolights) and have already metered for all the lights with my light meter. So my exact exposure awaits.
Over time, you might want to switch and/or learn different shooting modes; That's cool, No worries.
Just don't let a shooting mode make you think your a noob or whatever. Because no matter what anyone says, there will always be a professional photographer who puts his camera on AUTO because he knows it won't make a difference for certain shots.