All of your reasons are completely valid and true. Thank you for responding.
I guess my real point is that with the Pokemon games specifically, the seeking, capturing and evolving of Pokemon seemed to fulfill all of your points (reward, story-progression, game-progression, collection, character-progression, trading) so well in fact that money and items and stores took such a back-seat that they might as well have not been there at all.
Would the Pokemon games have been much different, much worse or much better with no items or money at all? And instead of Pokeballs there was just a player-skill used?
(I should have clarified that I had a second separate point that most RPGs don't seem in my opinion to balance money well, but that isn't important).