Foreword: Firstly I would like to state I am not requesting this feature be added. I am not foolish enough to believe that yet another person asking for it will have any impact on its implementation. Instead, I opt to ask people's opinions on the matter, find out what peoples' reasons are for wanting or not wanting such a feature.
Background: I'm a reasonably active StackOverflow user, I ask questions when I get stuck, I answer questions when I get bored. Recently I found a question from a person that obviously didn't quite understand the way SO works, he was asking for some suggestions on how to learn a specific language and better his programming skills. Unfortunately his question got put on hold, and long story short it got me thinking just why there isn't a private messaging system. So I looked here in meta and the continual debate, but I didn't feel any of these questions were actually targeting people's feelings about such a system, they were all asking to implement it or asking why it isn't implemented - not explicitly asking people's opinions on the matter. So, I'm asking now.
Question: What are your opinions on the lack of a private messaging system?
Do you like it because you like the disassociation and believe that SO serves well as a "programmer's wiki", or would you rather a messaging system be implemented despite accusations that it would drag SO down and make it more akin to a forum or social network?