Zanaffar - IMHO, a lot depends on the teaching philosophies of your Aikido instructor. It is my understanding some Aikido instructors do in fact include atemi waza, and to me makes the street self-defense applications far more realistic. IMHO, learning joint locks & throws without atemi waza is ineffective. I study Aikijujutsu, which is combat art training with multiple attackers. If, one is fortunate enough to find a reputable Aikijujutsu instructor, then that is the path I recommend. However, I'm NOT bashing Aikido and certainly appreciate those that practice aikidoka using realistic atemi waza to set-up skeletal manipulation.
BTW, I'd like to wish all a Merry Christmas & safe and prosperous 2007.
...the Tiger is known for its ferocity & power, as well as agility & elegance.