It seems like most people like poles. I think they have a place with trail users; I've found that trails are a lot harder on the feet than off-trail terrain, and I suspect poles would help take some of the load off. Offtrail, my feet never hurt and my hands are very busy doing things like scrambling, climbing, compass reading, or parting brush... anything carried in the hands tends to be very cumbersome. That depends on where you hike, though. The only times I wish I had poles are at creek crossings and on snowy hills.

I'd recommend hiking without poles for a while; treading safely on uneven or slippery footing is something that the body learns with practice, and I think poles are literally a bit of a crutch.