I feel that a person's "looks" make a difference in my interest, but it's not about begging hormones. It's got more to do with a gestalt impression I get of someone based on visual data in real-time. I can read a lot of information that way and it can make a difference in the depth of my interest in someone. I don't privilege it over other information (how a person communicates in the long run matters more than the visual data) but it's pretty important to me, to the extent that if I have not met someone f2f, even if I have a lot of communication with them, they don't seem entirely real to me yet.
I say real-time because photos don't give me nearly as much data.