I can't agree with you more on TA as a guide in trading. If retail investors had taken the TA approach in trading the 3 infamous pennies and many other penny stocks, they would have lost much less.
In most instances, I often use TA as a defensive tool rather than an aggressive tool. The difference between the two is that, the former is to control/stop losses, the latter is to maximize gains to the highest level. For example when Blumont hit S$1.945 on 19 Sep 2013, it was on impulsive wave-v of Wave-5 up, which was the last burst of fire based on the Elliott Wave chart pattern. Those who were still on board at S$1.945 and didn't want to get out were aggressively betting for an extended Wave-5 up, then. But extremely aggressive punters didn't know the meaning of "the higher it goes the harder it falls".