I think it's more of a convenience and time saver. I find that I don't mind cabling without the needle when the stitches are in front, but don't like trying to keep track when they're in the back. I use a dpn to cable, so there's no expense involved. It also depends on how slippery the yarn is.
"Trust the pattern!"
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
Hop aboard while we follow the cloud-covered van of knitting harmony, man!! Woooo!! --Hedgehog
IngridKH on Ravelry