"It seems it is more preference driven than location or weight driven am I correct?"
There are multiple possible reasons for leaving the stove home (and the fuel, and the pot, and the wind screen ...).
As you suggested, if you're okay eating cold I think you can better match your overall backpacking "style" to that of your companions when they're doing so. Not required, however; I hiked a good long distance with a couple of friends who were going no-cook while I was cooking dinners, and it was okay. They were typically done eating while I was still heating my dinner, however, and as we were doing some relatively strenuous days, it did feel to me that they had a little more evening leisure time as a result, but not a huge deal.
And I've been on the other side of that one too; I've had a number of times where people offered to heat some water for me, which I accepted a time or two when it was clear to me that they had an excess of fuel (or were cooking over a fire), but mostly I didn't. People sometimes joke about being clever by getting other people to carry stuff they need, but that's definitely not the guy I want to be.
Reasons for no-cook can vary. As someone else mentioned, it's just very simple: you start eating, voila, dinner prep and cleanup is non-existent. Kind of nice at the end of a long day. It's also nice when it's very cold out, and/or raining/snowing/sleeting/hailing, or when the bugs are buzzing fierce and you just want to get in your tent and stay in.
And on a longer trip you needn't be concerned about how much fuel you're carrying or where to get more along the way. On my most recent trip I brought a multi-fuel setup that allowed me to burn twigs: I figured I would extend my alcohol fuel that way as resupply wasn't certain, and unless you can find HEET in a gas station, you can typically only buy alcohol fuel as denatured alcohol at something like 32 oz (or more) in a shot --- way too much.
But my hiking partner and I found that we weren't using the twig option as much; just a lot more time and effort there spent in gather the fuel and babysitting the fire.
Going stoveless might save you weight and/or bulk. Typically people reckon that the savings in gear carried is to some varying ratio offset by ready-to-eat foods that are heavier (more moisture content) and/or bulkier. I think that can vary a lot, and depends a lot too on what you're willing to eat, and the packaging it comes in. I figure that on a relatively long stretch, perhaps 6 to 7 days, I might start out with my overall food weight making my load a little heavier than it might be with a light stove setup (maybe?), but as I eat that down, I quickly end up ahead of the game. For shorter stretches between (food) resupply opportunities I'm sure that my pack is lighter as a result.
Another reason that people will sometimes go without the stove is concern about drawing the attention of bears. When I first did extensive hiking in Grizzly country I did just that, my first experience at eating cold.
Yet another reason, and I think this is a better one for those of us who live in the west, is that forest fires are becoming more and more of a problem all along the three west coast states. Even where stoves are allowed, increasingly the type of stove is restricted, which has an impact on access to fuel for those of us who do long distance hiking, but just in general the last thing we need in fire season is more fires lit of any sort in very dry country.