I think comments are important, especially for those who are new to HP. The first month on here I didn't get involved in the "community" or making comments and I really didn't see any action on my hubs. But getting involved by making comments and responding to other hubbers has helped my hubs grow. I'm still new and learning so I appreciate what others have to say, especially when it's meant to make my hub better.
I think all hubs should have comment boxes, even if the writer doesn't intend on responding. Sometimes when I read an article, it's nice to be able to write what I think. And that's not just on HP. If you go to any newspaper website or other forums for articles, typically there is a place for comments.
I like to thank other writers by making comments because they've taken the time to write and share their knowledge. I also like to thank people who make comments on my hubs because it makes me happy when I know someone enjoyed what I wrote.
As someone who has a score of 97, davenmidtown, do you find it useful for comments? I see that you're a level 4 commenter, so you obviously make comments yourself. Do you think that you'll ever stop commenting?