I often come across accomplished musicians with good relative pitch (can figure out melodies, chord progressions) beating themselves up for not having absolute pitch. In general, reading people's writings on Western music leave me with the impression that absolute pitch is the Holy Grail of aural skills.
Why is this? Unless you want to play atonal music by ear, isn't relative pitch good for everything else?
(Here, I am referring to the ability to give a note name to a frequency. There are other skills like pitch resolution - i.e. figuring out the names to many notes played simultaneously, and aural memory - i.e. being able to reproduce music of varying complexity after hearing it a certain number of times, but those seem like skills that someone with relative pitch can also possess.)