There are two novice views on jQuery. The first is puppy-dog excitement about it. The second is denial.
Wow Look What jQuery Does!
The most common reason for selecting the dollar-library back in the day was that you wanted to use a drop-down menu script, or a slideshow, or some other plugin. The instructions told you to include jQuery as they depended on it. The plugins were the big sales and marketing force for jQuery, spreading it far and wide. It would not surprise me at all to discover that a large portion of jQuery wielding websites do so just for a couple of plugins. The other route in was that it was often included in boiler-plate code and templates – so people end up starting with jQuery pre-included in their web site or application (even before they decided what the application needed to do).
So this is the puppy-dog excitement phase of jQuery. Almost everyone experiences this one.
Enough of the jQueries!
Open Relationship with jQuery
You need to go through these phases and feel all of the pain before you can move on to a healthy relationship with jQuery. It is a useful library that can be used when appropriate to solve problems. If your blank web template includes jQuery and related ephemera, you’re probably doing it wrong. Equally, if you refuse to use a tool because you have seen other people using it incorrectly, you’re doing it wrong too.
jQuery is the drinking-problem of the World Wide Web. There are people getting utterly smashed on it, throwing up on the streets and shouting at Police officers. Then there are people going tea-total because they got scared of what the alcohol is doing to them.