The point of having a world map is that sense of actually discovering new things, whether that be villages, caves, casinos or whatever, instead of just pushing a button and arriving at a new place.
the problem with this is getting lost and/or being unable to find your next location. another problem with world maps is that they tend to look largely the same all over the planet.*cough*talesoftheabyss*cough* i liked ffxii's over world because they had a variety of locales.
now a couple things i'd like to comment on.
Xenosaga 2:the largest problem with xenosaga is 2 things. first off trial and error is the only way to know where a particular attack hits. second of all switching members costs you a turn. both of these issues were fixed in XS3 since they did away with attack zones and attack types. so you really only needed to change if someone was low on hp or sp.
FFVIII:silly people you dont draw spells so you can cast them! you draw spells so squall can do 9,999 a hit with lionheart :)
and about FF9 i think its similar to Wild Arms 5 in that a lot of the stuff in that game will be meaningless if you have not played previous FF's when i originally played FF9 i had only previously played FF7 FF8 and tactics.
edit:about radiant dawn. even though you lose if someone dies, does it not let you save mid battle without exiting to the title screen? in my opinion that could actually make it easier than PoR.