I am curious what peoples thoughts are. I myself don't really care either way, damage can be great if its implemented well in the gameplay/ game design. But in most cases its just a waste of development time if you ask me.
If you look at Gran Turismo, Polyphony Digital were pretty much forced to implement damage even though they didn't want it and I think it probably set the game back by years and years. I think GT would still be a top contending game if PD had never bothered with damage. Damage has still yet to be fully implemented into the game. Damage is included in GT5/6 but it is not present in the actual career/single player mode. You cant even optionally turn it on, probably because they don't know what to do with it as a game mechanic because damage pretty much makes the game not fun. Damage is however available in multiplayer but I don't think anyone actually uses it.
Then I look at a game like Colin McRae rally and think that damage is probably one of the most important features because rally is all about mitigating damage and trying to get your car across the finish line in one piece.
And then there is Next Car Game which seems like it started out as a damage tech demo and now they're building a game around that mechanic. (which looks awesome btw)