This is not a forum, it's a Q&A site. This means that Stack Exchange questions are clearly not a conversation between asker and answerer, but a system to generate a reference work.
Therefore, not only is removing salutations and "thanks" a good idea, but doing this is Stack Exchange's clearly preferred practice. To an extent, some of this is automatically done. The system removes salutations at posting time.
I think I need to clarify this further.
I really think that part of the problem is that some people are working under the assumption that pages on the main sites are conversations, and that's just not the case. Maybe this will help:
The point of Stack Exchange is to make the internet better. We want these sites to be the first Google result when you search on a question, and for people to say "Ah! A Stack Exchange page! When I go there, I'll see the best, most reliable answers voted to the top of the page, and I can find my answer quickly and reliably."
To that end, we're constructing Q&A threads, and the answers that have been voted to the top are the ones people on the site feel are best. Having to wade through "Thanks" and other conversational stuff makes it more difficult for future visitors to get to the information.
However, people are going to want to talk, and politeness is in of itself a virtue. That's why we have comments: If you feel a question requires a courtesy, then by all means use the comments for that.