The reason for attributes (feel free to call them any other name) is that they add replayability.
A character build requires rules. Without those there is no incentive to try something new instead of the clearly optimal a-la-carte rangertankmage.
It's also makes it quick and easy to tell who can do what in a group without a one hour discussion about all of their super special GURPS builds.
When focusing on one tree you get a lot from this one tree earlier and cheaper and that incentivises playing more than one game. With a-la-carte systems players tend to gravitate towards their comfort build if they hit even minimal resistance - instead of embracing the new build and using the different approach that it favours.
I did not read all the suggestions for How It Should Work Instead. At a glance, some of them are definitely meandering all over the place without getting to a point and if th...Read more