I have very limited access to Chinese books, but I have noticed some texts that seem to make a point of avoiding 了。Is there a discernible reason? Does it sound more educated?
in modern written vernacular chinese (白話文), several characters are used abusively.
"的", "麼", "了", "嗎", "性", "地", "們"
the more these characters are used, the worst the article are.
therefore the implications of pointedly avoiding 了, or any above mentioned characters is:
authors tried to write "elegantly, more beautiful" article, using less, or without these characters.
reading some good articles, you would feel the differences. the first recommendation is 董橋, learn from him, you won't be regret.