Bahaha. I was about to respond to this, and then saw the "Professional Cynic" title.
To the OP. I wouldn't get so worked up on people's opinions and styles of how RP should or shouldn't be done. People have different tastes and that's what it all comes down to. For me personally, Para RP helps me get further immersed into the setting of a story in whatever sim it is. Some people don't care for the extra detail. But there is a lot of things that someone can convey through para RP that can't be conveyed through your run of the mill one-liners. Touch. Taste. Senses. Even emotion and thoughts that just won't ever be conveyed through robotic avatars (though SL technology has come along way with making them appear more lifelike!). Its a careful balance. I enjoy reading about what one character might be thinking, that helps clue you into to the emotions of a character. THe same was as a I reader, I like discovering new characters as a book. You get people who would rather do this organically the way you would meet another person in real life, and ask them. And thats all well and good. But I look at Roleplay in Second Life the way I look at a book. I like reading my way in from that fourth wall. Getting a perspective as a player, that my character may never ever get.
The reason why there has to be a good balance is for many reasons. As a narrator, its important to convey character thought as just that, character thought/emotion, as opposed to narrating as fact. What this means is that nothing will irritate me more than seeing someone post, "John laughs at Ricky Bobby. If Ricky so much as tried to attack him, he would put him down in an instant. What a fool." This is ***** thought posting. Absolute garbage. A better example would be, "John grew silent at the threat made towards him. He had no desire to fight, and this was reflected in his body language as he passively stepped away from the angry man. But he was ready to stand his ground if need be, and was certain that Ricky Bobby would get far more fight than the man initially bargained for." So the later example would be naratting as a third party, but keeping actions, thoughts in perspective of the character itself, rather than stating something as fact as a narrator.
Again, some people HATE Para RP. They're entitled to their opinions. One is not better than the other. People God Mod and Meta Game from either side of the fence. It all comes down to personal taste. Welcome to the community, and if you're interested in Medieval Roleplay, I'd highly recommend checking out one of the following sims: Chronicles of Lynnea, Realms of Ice and Fire, and Comraich. I've not really tried anything else in the genre that is still around, there might be a few others out there. And YES, those sims typically have the style of "Para RP". So it might be worth taking a look in as an observer and seeing if it is for you. Also, local chat distances are 20 meters, so keep that in mind when trying to RP with others.