When I built my PC, I put a CD drive in it. Used it to install Windows and Linux, have not used it since. As for my laptop, same deal. I take it to UNI and use there wifi, I reformat it once a year and that's the only time I use the drive. I honestly would rather use that space for more storage than waste it on a drive. Different needs I guess.
As for "Gaming" laptops, the wish to add more storage, more battery and less bulk means something has to give. What loses out are things like the Optical Drive, speakers and ports. Anything to make it lighter and thinner. Something that I feel is dumb since you will just throw it in a back pack with its charger, mouse and a headset anyway. Weight at that point does not really mean all that much.