I am told by someone whose experience and knowledge I trust (though I have never tried to verify it experimentally) that if you photograph an even grey tone, and process without a stop bath, it is far more difficult to maintain evenness. He knew this because it was a 'party trick' at his college -- it may have been the London College of Printing, but I have forgotten -- that was used to persuade people that stop baths are not necessarily irrelevant.
I have never bothered to try to verify it because it is never visible in 'real world' negatives. For films, both he and I will either go straight from dev to fix, or use VERY weakly acidulated water -- a dash of glacial acetic acid in water, used one-shot -- between the two. I've not used 'full strength' stop bath in decades, not from fear of pinholes, but because I find my ways easier.
Paper is another matter. There, I use standard-strength stop bath, made up from glacial acetic (or currently, Tetenal 60% acetic, because it's easier to get) because the chemicals sit in the Nova tank and are re-used to within distant sight of exhaustion, unlike film processing. Strong acetic is so cheap that I just don't worry about the tiny added cost, or about chucking it out before it's exhausted.