So you never play a round for any reason except handicap or competition? My buddies would be a bit upset if I did that. Equitable Stroke Control is based on course handicap, not index, and mine has been in the 10-19 range for all of the time I've carried one. Since the last revamping of the USGA handicap system, that put me in the category of returning a maximum of 7 on any hole. Since it's not unheard of for me or most of my friends to make worse than a double on a par 5, picking up could affect any wager that we had in place. Usually by the time I reach my ESC on any other hole, I'm out of the running anyway, so that wouldn't matter, aside from the feeling that I'm reinforcing a bad habit by picking up. I've seen players bat a ball away from the hole in a competition out of habit before they realize what they have done. That costs an additional stroke as long as you replace the ball and finish out. It sucks to take a penalty stroke on a 6" putt.
If I was a slow player, or if my group had fallen off the pace, I would look at it differently, but that is rarely the case. We are usually the ones waiting for the target area to clear.
This is the ESC chart from the USGA Handicap Manual:
I do, I was just thinking of what I do by myself but if it's a game with something on it or were playing teams then of course.