I know for certain that a lower action on a guitar makes playing easier, but does having a high action makes you more skilled by overcoming the extra difficulty or is it just an inconvenience?
The benefits of higher action go to lack of buzz. You can pick harder, which is nice for certain musics. I think it helps harmonics a little. I suppose there's some "You gotta want it, Rocky!" aspects, but really, yeah, high action is mostly something that'll keep beginners from moving forward.