I think icons make sense and in general terms improve software usability if used properly. This applies to Eclipse as well. If you happen to use the context menu a lot, say for committing things to Git, you might be used to this:
Note the plain context menu, which does not show any icons. Contrast this with this:
Yay, icons show up :) For those of you who wonder how to enable icons in Eclipse, here is how you can do this (assumes Fedora 15 and Gnome 3).
$ sudo yum install gnome-tweak-tool $ gnome-tweak-tool
Then go to “Interface” and turn on “Menus Have Icons”. It should look like this: