I have no idea what you will be doing while visiting Europe to know why you might or might not need one. I can tell you why I feel I never want to do without mobile data again when going to Europe: because of the enormous benefit I get from being able to navigate cities with my phone: after years of fumbling with maps and bus/metro schedules and trying to plan routes ahead of time, now all I need to do is ask my phone (Google Maps) how to get from place to place by walking or public transit. This has saved me an enormous amount of time and aggravation on my last few trips to Europe, and it's so cheap for a SIM - why do without it? This isn't something that is practical with WiFi - if I want to catch a bus on the fly, I don't want to go hunting for WiFi. It has nothing to do with the compulsive need to check my email or Facebook every five minutes - it has to do with saving a lot of time in getting around.
I'm not sure if you can buy a SIM without data anymore, but there's not much point in looking for one. They are cheap enough as it is - why not just buy one each time you visit? Consider it just one more expense you incur when visiting Europe - what's another 30 Euros or so each time?
I have a Dutch Vodafone SIM that I bought last year and can apparently keep alive for a year after last topped up with credit. The EU has largely done away with roaming fees, so I can use this same SIM in France and all over the EU. (I can make VOIP calls over wifi and don't actually need "calling minues" on a SIM.) I am not sure if any French SIMs can last as long as a year without being kept "alive" every so often, but I plan to keep mine alive for use every year when I visit Europe - I can add credit online without visiting the Netherlands, and it is nice to have a working phone the minute I land in Europe. But if I couldn't keep one alive for a whole year, I probably wouldn't bother - I'd just buy a new SIM each time, doesn't cost much.