I remember hearing someone from Wycliffe Bible Translators telling me many years ago that they originally held quite strictly to a literal translation philosophy. He said they have warehouses full of translations that are accurate—but unintelligible. And consequently, useless.
If it doesn't make sense to the target audience, then it isn't accurate. The purpose of translation is to make the original text understandable to the target audience. Yes, stuff gets lost. But the alternative is that everything gets lost...it's a tradeoff, as they say above. I guess that's why translation is as much art as science...