Those out there who believe that Halacha is only understood through Rishonim may have overlooked the opinion of the Maharshal, straight self Talmudic interpretation of Halacha, which was the methodology used before we chose to let others do the thinking for us. (And could be used again)
Audio Clip by Rabbi Jonathan Ziring
Thsi happens to also be the view of Rabbi David Bar Chayim of Machon Shilo
Rabbi Shlomo Luria~
Because of this ( the writing of the Beit Yosef) I couldn't contain myself anymore, I had to write my own sefer, even though Torah is endless we are living in a dyer time, the censoring of positions that argue have gotten severe, so I put out my sefer to go back to the sources.
Sometimes I would have to sit for a whole week in deep thought until I figured out the source for a halacha and then I wrote it down.
This is my methodology, to include everybody (Achronim, Rishonim) even though I through precedence never favor any of the authors.
And even though we cannot imagine that these great poskims would ever make mistakes while they say and think that we shouldn't challenge whatever was said before us, and even though people do not like challenging the original poskim, and even though they believe that they would never have been wrong I think that we also have the right to analyze the Gemara.
Furthermore even though the poskim are great and the Rishonim are wonderful I poskim on what I think is the peshat in the Sugya. ~Maharshal, Hakdama - Yam Shel Shlomo