Binding may be aesthetically pleasant, but for function, when I look at the neck of my guitar, all the horizontal lines I want to see are the strings. Additional horizontal lines can be confusing to us humble untalented players, so... no binding for me!!
I like binding on a cheaper guitar, mostly because you have less chance of fret sprout and exposed/sharp fret ends from the factory. Neither of my two expensive guitars (Japanese ESP and the PRS) have neck binding, though the ESP does have a nice looking body binding.
I love the feel of the binding...it is much more comfortable for me when done right (not a fan of the very thick plastic bindings that continue over the tops of the frets). Real wood binding on a guitar neck (Maple, Koa or ebony) just really "completes" a classy instrument for me. I have quite a few without binding as well...but only from certain manufacturers who really pay attention to their fret finish (like PRS obviously).
I never really thought about it before, but roughly half of my PRS have binding and half don't. And in each case, I can't imagine any of the ones with binding without and vice versa. I think that PRS does a pretty good job in picking which guitars get binding and which don't....
With the Northern Lights guitar, I'll have 3 electrics with, one without, and the acoustic doesn't have a binding either.
I honestly have no preference, though. It's a cool way to differentiate the instruments, and give each one a unique look and feel. But for me, it's never a deal breaker or deal maker.
I like it when it's there, and I like it when it's not there.
To all the haters of plastic bindings and other trim I would note: All of the great, classic guitars that hits were made on, whether Fenders, Gibbies, Ricks, Gretsches, or any of the others I can think of -- including PRS -- have had plastic parts.
Generally not too bothered either way. However, saw this (Hope it is OK to post this link, if not apologies all round and please delete post) http://www.fender.com/en-FR/series/fender-select/ and thought it is an interesting idea. Wonder (naively) if it is patented already.
I'm in the minority, but I pretty much have to have it on my guitars. All my guitars across all brands have it except my DGT. I'm not against plastic binding either. Wood binding is definitely the way to go, but I love the multiply binding on Les Paul Customs just as much. I love the look and the feel of binding .