A drill press is indispensable.
Drilling is an important part of woodworking. Fine woodworking requires jigs & fixtures. And, unlike the metal working industry, woodworking jigs & fixtures are rarely excavated (shouldered, morticed e.g.) to accommodate the location of their components. Consequently, they are screwed together. And if you can't drill, you can't make fixtures and your woodworking will be compromised.
Typically, the well fixtured woodworker does most of his critical work, (at the expense of time) before assembly and stuff just snaps together. Disregard the fixturing stage of your project and you get to the assembly much quicker. But to get your stuff together, you have to tune your way through a cascade of crap whilst using a swear word from time to time. Parts jam in their sockets, have to be sanded, hammered to fit, holes have to be overdrilled etc; you know who you are.
Knowing how to drill and make your drill press work will get you started. Knowing how to select a drill, feed rate and drill speed will expedite the experience. Getting the work clamped & immobilized, understanding the press's signature, and fixturing the press will increase your chances as a quillman. Understanding what can go wrong and what you can do about it will put you in control.
Drilling is a big deal. Making fixtures is only a fraction of it. I'm sure you'd like to get 2 pieces of material to register, drill on consistent centers, or maybe tap a little.