|The stupid question is the question not asked|
So again, why is it then that Larry and The Damian never seem to be around these discussion forums?
Not everybody is interested in this sort of social interaction. That doesn't mean that it's wrong or bad or likely to stunt your development as a Real Hacker. ;-)
Does one really need to use any of these to become an excellent hacker?
No. I can't see why it should stop you from becoming one, however.
Would all the time on Perl Monks/IRC/newsgroups be better spent in front of a book and/or a text editor?
That depends. Are you missing deadlines (personal or professional) because you chat a lot?
Has anyone else "had it" with all the (flame|holy)wars going on?
Sure. Everyone (well, almost everyone) gets tired of that sort of thing. I found it was simplest to just learn to ignore them. Each of us can only really control our own behavior - it's impossible to make anyone else "behave". ;-)