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How important is accepting answers for the community?

Considering how the unanswered list says something like, 'Questions without, or with no accepted, answers,,,' I'm wondering about the importance and significance of accepting answers at all for this community (and others, I suppose.)

There's cases where the accepted answer is overvoted by another... As I posit this question, I see a thread asking what to do when an accepted answer is wrong. I see another where a user asks to be able to accept more than one answer...

The acceptance of an answer is based on the decision of the question-asker. This doesn't seem efficient in the sense that there are varying levels of understanding - a novice may ask a question, then receive an expert, as well as another novice, answer... Surely, the expert answer will be upvoted the most but, the asker may choose to accept the novice answer out of lack of understanding (to pull an example totally out of my ass.)

What's the consequence of having a ton of great answers to a question to which none will be accepted because the user doesn't even recognize the feature?

Finally, would it matter if this feature was removed?