Lots of the old folks still crave for turn based combat. In fact, I hear this so often that I don't understand why it is not even considered these days. Fallout has one of the best imo.
To avoid repetitions is simple. Make the brawls so hard that people have to become creative in order to survive. This goes for real time combat as well. When I played the Halo demo back then, it was neat but rather dull. But with difficulty to max, whoa, things became really interesting.
Well, Matt really got me. I have BG shelved of course, but after PS Torment I thought it might be too mainstream. Now it is next on my list.