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You can usually get by without doing any...
The difference is that hand editing or using the cli is often the most efficient way of doing something, so most long term linux users will choose this method even when a gui based option exists.
Also if you are trying to explain to someone else how to do things, typically via a text based online forum, or verbally over the phone, a cli is much easier because the cli has more in common with the medium used to convey the instructions.
As an example, i was helping a guy how install ntop on a ubuntu box a few weeks ago, i could have walked him through using the gui tools to find and install ntop, but it was much easier to walk him through opening a terminal and then typing "sudo apt-get install ntop"...
If using a textual medium such as a forum or irc, you can even just give people a block of text they can paste in... Can't do that with a gui.
This is also why i _HATE_ video howtos online, i'm not always in a position to listen to the sound (eg at work), i might not have access to a graphical browser or might be on a very slow link (often gprs, because 3g is not ubiquitous everywhere i have to travel to), and you cant cut+paste commands or configuration details from a video - you have to type them all back in which is not only a hassle but also extremely error prone.
There has never been a Linux Distro that I didn't have to do something on the command line to get something working, I have pretty standard hardware, all Intel (not Sandy Bridge).
Furthermore, most sysadmin graphical tools are just frontends for the backend tools and most of the time in my experience, are either buggy or flat out don't work.
The only Linux installer I trust is the Anaconda installer, since that has been working for about 10 years now.