I think this is a pretty rose colored glasses interpretation. I respect that you love the game. I respect that you feel that this is what you experience. But I truly think that subjectivity and bias over overwhelming you if you really think this.There is a reason most class feats are actions or activities. You are building a toolbox to prove your worth. Player says I'm a master swordsman. Game says prove it. You do not just get to be a master swordsman just like you have never just gotten to be an arch mage. You have to earn it.
If anything, I see the opposite as true. And, yes, you could simply call that MY bias. I have no doubt I have bias I can't escape. But there is an objective reality underlying the math of 2E that imposes "correct" level of aptitude on all characters with an iron fist. (maybe the "iron fist" part isn't really objective)
Seriously, you may paint a different narrative on the swordsman than you do the archmage. But I don't know of another D20 game with a tighter bell curve on the pre-ordained outcomes.
This is a fatal flaw in the game's ability to service my "be the character", "triumph or fail; live or die; everything comes from how you go about solving problems" style of playing.