Books don't often include teleportation because it entirely eliminates that most fundamental of story mechanisms: the journey. It's a trope that turns up in story after story, from Pilgrim's Progress to the Canterbury Tales to, yes, the Lord of the Rings. The challenges the characters face in the traveling itself are what creates a compelling evolution of both the character of the characters and the story itself.
Being able to just go from journey.start() to journey.end() through teleportation utterly eliminates or trivializes all those challenges. After all, if they _could_ have teleported, why did the characters suffer and fight so hard en route? Because they wanted the "xp"? Because they're bloody stupid?
Games also have this issue. That's why TES slowly moved away from incorporating stuff like Disintegrate Wall or Levitation (also engine restrictions in TES4) or Mark and Recall -- because whenever things got hard or annoying, you could just disapperate. Arcanum's teleportation mechanics were fairly well balanced and implemented (techies used the train or boats for a price, mages had to invest in a skill tree), but the game itself was little played.
In a strategy game, teleportation, when well handled, can be pretty fun. Unfortunately, the computer tends to handle it poorly or neglect it entirely, especially when tactical teleports are used (like in Empire at War, warping your reinforcements in behind the enemy to smoosh their engines), so it's often simply a straight player advantage. Strategic teleports are pretty common in games -- Civ4 used airports, and FfH used the Obsidian Gates -- for moving troops rapidly from city to city, but that's again something the AI rarely uses.
So, if it is in, it should be something the computer considers in its moveto(). And it should come at a fairly hefty cost -- you should only use it when you really need an edge, rather than in lieu of standard movement. If both of those constraints are filled, then teleportation has its place in the game. Otherwise, teleportation delenda est!
edit: No spoilers? Snap! This post is already pretty long, so you can skip this part. It's all anecdotal discussion of WoTMud anyway.
WoTMud was a faboo PK Mud where you could create a channeler who, if you leveled up and joined the Aes Sedai, could travel or create portals. Incredibly useful, because riding between towns was mad arduous and also quite dangerous, what with all the trollocs and murderers and Seanchan wandering about! However, there were a few issues with traveling in particular, but also portals.
See, in order to do any kind of teleportation, you needed to have the location code for the place you were traveling to. In the case of portals, this required you to be physically present in a location where you want to create a portal, and get the code from it -- which would decay after an in game month, and was specific to you personally. So, you'd still have to go between towns every few RL weeks to get the loc code for it, and thereby expose yourself to the dangers of the road or traveling. Only mid/high level Aes Sedai could pull it off (or Dreadlords, but good luck becoming one of those, it took RL years and lots of intense RPing), but it meant you could move an entire group to any location in the world.
Traveling was way more dangerous. See, anyone could give you a loc code for someplace, and you could also pick it up by locating items or creatures. But every time you traveled, you had a small chance of ending up somewhere completely different -- say, the incredibly dangerous Spine of the World, where trolloc PKers loved to hang out, or the center of the Seanchan's island. Which, if you were a lower level channeler, invariably meant pissing your pants, spamming loc and screaming for help in whispers to higher level friends.
Why was this so terrifying? Well, because death meant all your items could be looted from your corpse, and also that you'd lose a ton of hard-grinded XP and even some quest points -- necessary for ranking up in the clan, hence even more difficult to get.
So teleportation was very well handled in that game because it was costly, difficult, rare (only one class of one race in two clans, both of them disliked, one intensely so, could learn it) and potentially fatal.