In NO way did I mean to take away from the innovation and brilliance of the original games in their day. 50 years later, though...They're archetypal, they created a legacy, defined the hobby.
They were brilliant and innovative in their day.
You could design a technically mechanically better system, today, but it'd be derivative rather than innovative, polished rather than brilliant. And, indeed, LOTS of such systems have been designed.
Sure, and that those issues only matter as such as something to learn from. As far as the experience of replaying an ancient RPG goes, those issues were part of the experience, so correcting for then (unless you were already doing so back then) defeats the purpose, and lampshading them can enhance the experience.
Or they might appreciate it for restoring as much of it as it did.
Another way to look at it was the accomplishment was greater.
Your basketball analogy was lost on me, so I'm going with one if my own.
Like a lotta nerds I'm a fan of SFX films. I really appreciate the masters is stop-motion animation, Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen.
I have to acknowledge that CGI is a much more powerful technique. But, I don't think it often approaches the artistry of the FX in the original King Kong or Jason & the Argonauts.
And, I can also point to silver linings in the obsolete technology. For instance, CGI can move very fast, with motion blur, looking perfectly smooth and very realistic. Which means you see a blur. You get mire action and realism, but what did that creature even look like. It's a huge technical improvement over the 'strobing' inevitable in even the best stop motion, but, I at least knew what I was looking at.
I can understand liking the warts; I can't understand not acknowledging them as warts, though.
As far as design goes, is there a style of play from the OSR days that couldn't be replicated with modern games? It's not obvious...yes, the original games were deadlier, but even 5e can achieve that level of danger with the appropriate number of monsters and not changing the rules.
Can OSR games play in all styles that modern ones can without changing the rules? It doesn't seem so...