Did you post this on a cell phone?
- You can only take the skilled talent once, so no it doesn't defeat the purpose of the other talents.
- Yes, there are two different talents that give you a single AP. So what's the problem, exactly? Yeah, they both do the same thing, but it's a useful thing, and they stack.
- So far, I've seen Pet Pal useful for a back-and-forth quest for cat romance, and you can optionally talk to Jake's dog who gives you a hint, but to progress, you still have to perform the same action even if you never take Pet Pal. You do have a point that Pet Pal is a good choice - most of the talents aren't thrilling.