I think starting out it's a benefit to not use poles. It'll improve you balance and control as you won't have your poles to steady yourself. To the person who says it's hard skiing without them, it might be because you're relying on them too much.
I think i read here that a alot of the top guys started out without poles. Was it tammy W who said the only reason he started using them was because he was getting marked down for not having them in competitions?