- Story trumps combat when a gaming group is getting tired of an adventure
- Paying tributes to old memories is fun, at least for the DM
- There is such a things as too many meaningless fights, no matter how retro-stupid-nostalgic one may get.
And here's where I stumble a bit when I hang out with the true grognards and dish about the old-school experience. For me, there was no such thing as a useless fight, because the players were simply scared to friggin' death of the dice. Seriously, you bring some 1st level characters built by Moldvay's book to the Caves of Chaos, and it can get ugly really, really quick. They did everything they could to avoid touching the dice, which meant everything could be a "story" encounter, including the stereotypical single orc guarding a chest.
Yeah, I know, we were weird. ;)
Anyway, the true lesson here, I think, is this: do what everyone is enjoying. Even if that means playing D&D without rolling any dice. It may feel odd, at first, but if you and everyone else is really having fun, run with it.