I tried my best to stay out of this discussion. I really did, but I realised I had a valid opinion to state, and it is just that, an opinion. Hopefully, I can state my opinion as briefly as possible. I won't bother linking to any other parts of the discussion, because if you are interested you probably have already read them...
Some people think that there should be no social interaction rules in RPGs, especially "old school fantasy", and that it should be covered by role playing. Others believe that such rules would be beneficial, especially for the less talented role players. My opinion is that it should probably be a mix of both schools of thought.
For example, if a PC comes up to a guard in a castle, and wants to get into a private or restricted area, the discussion might go something like this...
Player: "I want to make a charisma roll to get by the guard."
GM: "Uummm... what are you saying?"
Player: "Can't I just roll?"
As I GM I would penalise the player for not even trying. It is called a role playing game after all, and not roll playing. It isn't a board game. Of course I would make exceptions for a new player, but I would explain the benefits of trying to role play the interaction.
Here's another example...
Player: "Hello there guard! Say, what's your name? Have we met before? Did you know that I'm here on business for King Viphtry? I really need to see the King's civic advisor, and someone told me he was in the library..."
GM (Guard): "I don't believe we've met..." The guard eyes you warily. The GM rolls to see how the guard reacts, with various pluses and minuses. The good role playing could net the player a nice bonus, but there might be minuses due to the guard being suspicious of most strangers in the castle. It's his job after all.
Another thing a dice roll does is add a bit of variability to the situation. You could be the best role player in the world, and the character could have a high charisma, but maybe the guard is in a lousy mood, and doesn't care if the character is smooth talking, attractive, and gregarious. The dice roll covers variables that the GM can't come up with before hand.
Now, not every situation should require role playing, I believe it depends on the importance of the situation. If it's a major plot point in a campaign then some role playing should be necessary. If a PC is trying to convince a King that the adventuring party should be allowed to operate in his kingdom, it's going to take some role playing, and not merely a dice roll. In this instance, both would be just as important, but, if the role playing was excellent, then I might decide no dice roll was necessary.
So there you go, my thoughts on the subject.
ConManKen Wants to Make YOU a TV Host
35 minutes ago