In a perfect world you don't need a root shell. In a planned obsolescent society it depends how critical your up time is. If your backup system is very good, and you can wait while down restoring everything from it. then you can do without the shell.
Murphy will ALWAYS rear his ugly head at the worst time.
If YOUR account get scrambled then you can't use it's shell to run root in.
Now definitely BLOCK remote root access, unless you are putting the system in a very remote physical location. I had one headless server that only allowed root to log in through serial console. I kept an old 486 laptop just to let me plug in if needed.
But you can and should tie the root shell to a specific console as well so it can't be running on other VC's.