Great observation by the OP. Very astute. And it explains why combat in 3e was such a failure to me as a player and DM. "Here are tools to predict how tough an encounter will be!" and "Here are lots and lots of ways to potentially stack the deck in your favor!" and "You get to roll 1000 dice each round!" don't go well together. Planning took forever, the actual combats took forever, and encounter difficulty swung wildly one way or the other depending on which side was buffed to the gills.