"The players reacted more by thinking 'What's the logical thing for an adventurer to do?' rather than 'What's the logical thing to do according to the rules?'" I think this sums up my deepest problem with the WOTC editions of D&D. These editions encourage and reward being a "rules lawyer" -- a type of player that most of us who started playing long ago abhor even more than power-gaming munchkins.
We've been seeing this a lot lately, but I think there's some truth to it. However, I'm not ready to crucify WotC yet as a bunch of evil book-pushers. Until recently, I also believed more rules was the way to go. I thought having rules for social status and skills and "social combat" and all of that was the way to go. It's only recently that I've begun to question that conventional wisdom.
That said, WotC has gotten themselves into the business of selling big, heavy, hard-backed tomes chock full of crunch and art. Their customers expect D&D to be comprised of multiple 300 page books, and will likely feel cheated if they don't get that, even if the price to get into the game is slashed drastically. The fact that the game Randall and I want to play can probably be sussed out in a single 128 page book won't make it tempting as a new model for WotC's flagship RPG.
UPDATE: And here's another variation on this same theme from Delta's D&D Hotspot:
(4) Ignoring the thief's "Remove Traps" ability. This was an unexpected thing that occurred spontaneously -- there's almost no reason to use a "Remove Traps" die roll. When you're dealing with the environment very concretely, it becomes obvious whether a found trap can be bypassed or not. Poisoned button? Tap it with a sword or pole. Pit trap? Hold it shut with a driven spike. Collapsing ceiling? No way to hold it up -- maybe just trigger it from afar with a rope. That was all very satisfying. It avoids eye-rolling arguments I've seen in the past about "I missed my roll but I can't just smash the poison lock off with a mace?" and stuff like that.
(Just as an aside, in my games, we let you smash off the lock with a mace, though that would 1) set off any other trap on the chest and 2) possibly damage the goodies inside the chest, like potions or other breakables.)