While I certainly enjoy an occasional break from them (As is evidenced by my love for Chrono Cross and the SaGa games) there's a reason they've been around for as long as they have, and for why they're crossing over into other genres(Because they work and are an effective tool). They're not going anywhere.
Well, okay. CC gave you slight bonuses for like doing one or two battles per star level, but essentially in CC you got experience levels after beating a story boss and nowhere else much.
Or have experience levels but do it like Morrowind where an experience level is some DERIVED thing based on various other forms of character advancement. Like, applied to the SaGa system, every x number of total stat points gained across all stats amounts to a new "level."