The problem with the initial quote in this thread, was that it lacked a context - hence, "self-sufficient so as to not need food, water or air to breath?" Those all come to mind. Branden addressed the issue of psychological needs in "The Psychology of Self-Esteem" - and in a way that separated legitimate needs, like oxygen, from 'neediness' that we saw in Peter Keating.
Roark used his own mind, and trusted it to judge what was good, what was bad, what exists and what doesn't. And, it wasn't that he wasn't aware of the 'neediness' of others, but that he had no internal conflict where he was torn by some desire to be liked, and adhereing to his own beliefs. He accepted himself.
Stephen, the points you make in the next paragraph go all mystical, for me anyway, when you discuss "... the ideal being that is The Good. That being is father-god to all the lesser gods and bequeaths what divinity there is in them and what divinity there is in us. The absolute self-sufficiency feature is one of the perfections of the perfect being that is God, in the view of Plato (and in the view of many on through the centuries). Plato conceived of God as devoid of matter, and as being an intelligent and living being, these features being perfections of being."
That's why I don't follow you when you say, "To house perfection in any part of existence not living (or not in some relation to life and living intelligence)—with all the vulnerabilities and finitude, as well as the selfhood and relations to other life, that real life possesses—is a mistake. A colossal and disastrous mistake for which Rand had much good correction by the time of Atlas Shrugged."
I'm left not knowing what is the terrible mistake you allege for Rand, and what are the corrections she applied. In my mind, the usual problem with people's grasp of 'perfection' is a dropped context: Perfect by what standard? Perfect within which context? Perfect to satisfy what purpose?
If, as a therapist, I heard a client yearn for total independence, defined by him as needing no contact or interaction with anyone, I might look for a fear of 'not being enough' that probably arose out of some childhood comparison where the client internalized a sense that he wasn't enough. And that sounds like a variation of defining perfection as some "father-god" that is beyond any need implied by being alive, and devoid even of matter. That seems to be a intellectual path for the creation of a standard whose only purpose is to make all else fail.