The skins are very tough compared to the flesh. I made some without torching them, and they tasted OK, but the skins seem sort of like plastic and significantly decrease the enjoyment of the product.

Spain is famous for its pickled red pimento peppers, and they always start the process by spreading them out on a cement slab and torching them so the skins can be removed.

I do a lot of cooking with peppers of various kinds, and never torch them for salads or other raw uses, but for stews, always. This is particularly important if the stew will be reheated.

I know of no cookbook that suggests using a torch. They give many other ways to remove the skins, but all those ways work about the same - they are a big hassle and barely work at all.

I consider a good torch, preferably map gas, to be a kitchen essential.