As primarily a Solitary Practitioner, I find the use of the traditional tools and trappings to be a comfortable reminder of a connection to Paganism in general and Wicca in particular.
I have also found that the more experienced the practitioner, the less the tools are necessary. As the lesson indicated, the tools help us in visualization; to focus our attention and imaginaton. One of my early teachers indicated. "...the working tools, the trappings and rituals are to help us 'suspend our sense of disbelief'". I have found that all of the ritual tools, the incense and candles, the salt and,water, all help to remind me that I am ,"in a place that is not a place and in a time that is not a time."