I hate to be shallow, but looks are really important to me (if you haven't guessed by my interest in photography, I'm a very visual person). It's not the only thing I look for in an intimate partner, and it matters even less when considering a friend. And it's not the only thing that turns me on, either. But, it is one of the first and most prominent qualities you notice about a person, and thus it takes a front row seat in my gallery of desires. I don't get to choose what gets me hot.
That having been said, companionship is based on a whole lot more than appearance - in my opinion, compatibility and mutual desire (the physical aspect being only one component of that desire) are the most important qualities. That appearance carries an appeal all its own shouldn't be construed as a contradiction to that statement.
Inner beauty and outer beauty are not mutually exclusive, and while they can exist in both the same or different people (and there are also, theoretically, those people devoid of any beauty, inside or out), a person's interest in, and even devotion to, outer beauty does not negate their ability to recognize and respect the importance of inner beauty also.
In short, beauty's not everything. But it is something.