i have to agree with bill here.
knowing what the wind strength is all very well, but surely you can look at the water and get feel on your face and get some sort of idea about what kind of wind speed you are dealing with.
if you are working or on a major expedition where you are operating under managment plans then knowing the exact speed can be a good legal tool, i.e knowing when to make the exact call about whether or not to get on/off the water.
however for a general personal day paddle, if you can't work out the conditions with your eyes and ears you should probably consider not going out. if you're ummming and arghing then it's probably best to err on the side of caution. that's what i was always taught anyway.
it's a bit like using a gps as your first navigation tool, I only pull it out when I can't see any features and am concerned about drift.
a wind speed reader would probably be the same with me, it would spend all it's time tucked away and only tell me what i've already deduced myself.
however as i mentioned above i can see where they can come in handy.
as for bill's "but......", it's an aussie piece of slang, it's like a canadian saying "eh", it doesn't really mean anything and there wasn't anything to follow it. and i totally 100% agree about the bragging rights, it sure helps to get the beers and stories flowing when you can tell the local boaties that you were out in 30knotts the other day and pull out some little gadget they can look at that says so!!
happy paddling and good luck