I promise people will request the holy crap out of it as soon as we release customNodes, unless I miss understand how they are going to work. But for example, right now if I wanted to make a normalMap procedurally generated from a Black and White image, given the current setup I would need to make 4 texture nodes offset the uv on each of them, and then pass those 4 colors to input instead of just passing the texture sampler itself. It is also needed for when we want to do textureBased sampled noise, incase people don’t want to use procedural.
The Node editor is just another means to construct shaders, if we do not have access to a sampler2d variable our ability to build cool stuff is going to be hindered.
I understand where you are coming from though, as it’s not a output that you can just hook up to something and see a value.