But when I got matched against halfway decent players, the skills I wasn't taking became painfully obvious. In particular (I bypassed Snipe), it was really hard for me to actually score kills, because my enemies just ran away and I couldn't catch them. If I'd spent more points on skills, then with the money I lost by not being able to finish off retreating opponents, I could easily have puchased items that would have more than made up for the fairly unimpressive boost you get from the stats tree.
This warms me a bit. I'd like this to be the case, and I still somewhat believe when against smart players, simple stat upgrades won't fly, just because there's no stun to prevent tele-scrolls and no finishing blow for retreating targets. A large portion of active skills are built to prevent your opponent from retreating or getting them to mispredict when the time's come that they must retreat to prevent death, aren't they?
At this point, maybe I'm just better at the game but I suspect what's going on is that a stats based approach tends to scale better in terms of DPS over that of a skills based approach. Also, a stats based approach is less dependent on coordination with other teammates. Snipe and grenades work best when coordinated and both rely alot in how the other player responds.
While I disagree with you on your argument that a lot of skills are luck-based (How so? In relation to specifically Regulus, I can easily get enemies to path into my mines by placing them in the middle of the quickest route to my person, and I always check enemy life totals before starting up Snipe) you bring up a really important point that most skills give static damage while standard attack damage scales througout the game as you level, buy items, and when you put points into Enhanced Attributes. Is that a problem, I wonder? I'm uncomfortable passing judgment on that until more numbers are crunched.
I find your final argument extremely suspect. You say that this wasnt what they intended. What exactly did they intend by having a huge passive attribute skill? Do you honestly think that they expected nobody to use it in the most obvious way possible?
What makes Enhanced Attributes so "huge"? I don't understand where that sentiment is coming from. My argument is that if programmers are going to program functions and create animations for four (and sometimes six) active abilities, there seems to be a focus there on the active abilities. Maybe every player won't choose to get all four in one game, and that's likely where the idea of Enhanced Attributes came in, but I doubt they intended for you to not want to take any. Again, why then would they give you more skill points than there are passive abilities? It doesn't make sense.
By that logic, I feel my philosophy is more in line with the game's, and I wanna talk it out in hopes of juicin the devs into some smart patches. If it's not, and the devs are fine with point-and-click-adventure builds, I'm just gonna have to deal, now won't I? But it hasn't even been proved to me yet that stat-builds are effective early OR late game. Someone who says "I stat-buff and I own" isn't mentioning whom they 'own' against and how. There's too little data on the field.