Description tag may not have much say in SERP ranking evaluation of a website, but it sure is not redundant.
I personally feel that description tags should be utilized for what they are – brief description of the contents of the webpage. It does have a bearing on how search engine users will react to a listing (yes, description tag is still displayed many times in SERPs).
If that isn’t important then ranking high in SERPs is useless. A webpage is just not doing justice to the SERP space if its distastefully optimized.