graeme_p - 4:55 am on Aug 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
Jquery is only 32kb minified and gzipped, is productive and deals with a lot of browser compatibility issues.
If you can dispense with it fine, but its sometimes worth it.
One thing people sometimes forget is to include CSS before JS, because that way
1) the CSS loads in parallel with the page
2) the wait for jquery before rendering stops the flash of unstyled content problem.