Just as with the tag cloud function, the ability to apply arguments to the_tags() and get_the_tags() is just as important. I was faced with the need to sort tags by count instead of alpha. Instead of using get_the_tags() and applying arguments, I was forced to jimmy rig an ugly query within my template. Please, this is much a much needed feature to keep WP's functions object oriented.
Note: Converting the class object to a string from get_the_tags() out and using multisort() was much uglier, longer and slower than my final solution.