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Should I add a check to make sure Ether was sent along with the transaction or is that redundant?
No. It's OK to have a function with the payable modifier not receiving any ether.
If you want to ensure that your payable function receives some ether, you can add your own modifier or if (msg.value == 0) throw; to your function.
if (msg.value == 0) throw;
Required, but never shown