The skill defaults work is great, if you're exactly the kind of person is aimed at (the mathematically adept scientist/engineer who is eligible to stop the investigation plot for an in depth discussion of the dwarven subway), but not if you're, say, an engineer who prefers to make up cool abilities and doesn't care about rules.
* Actually I do know, basic familiarity with the spells they useful and ab reluctance to learn new basic mechanics.
Basic Combat is fine. I've never seen anybody actually add in Advanced Combat because it more than quintuples the complexity.3) Combat. The combination of the 1 second round, active defenses, grid combat, and facing mechanics tends to produce something on the slow side.
[QUOTE]4) Derived stats, and the use of tables. Damage is a great example here, but they're all over the place. This is especially true in certain optional subsystems, which brings me to...[QUOTE]
I remember Swing Damage, Thrust Damage, Basic Lift, Basic Speed, Basic Move, Dodge/Block/Parry, Will, Per, and arguably stuff like Effective IQ for magic. Not actually a ton, and three of those are derived from the same stats (Basic Speed is DX+HT/4, Basic Move is Basic Speed with the fractional part rounded down, Dodge is Basic Speed without the fractions plus three). Sure, it's quite a bit, and many of them can be bought independently (and Will and Per probably should be entirely separate from IQ), but not the largest array I've seen.
They're getting better, GURPS Spaceships has a much more streamlined Spaceship design system than the one in GURPS Space for 3e (I believe Space 4e left it out entirely). But yeah, the 3e subsystems kind of went a little overboard.5) GURPS Vehicles. It basically goes full Phoenix Command here, and even die hard GURPS fans tend to be lukewarm on it at best. That's pretty irrelevant though.
I tend to find Fudge's idea of working out and making your own stat/skill list isn't as good a fit for me as sitting dien with the massive GURPS lists and deciding what is and isn't allowed. I also hate the ladder and will pretty much only run Fudge after replacing it with a numeric scale, it just makes everything run faster for me (on the other hand I get why it makes things easier for other people, I just don't have a massively word oriented thought process).Basically, GURPS is in a space that I really like (fairly simulationist generic systems that support bizarre settings well), but there's enough clunk to its crunch that I tend to favor a simplified descendant. Usually Fudge, which was written by a GURPS author and keeps a lot of that ethos.
But eh, neither approach is wrong. For me GURPS is perfect, but that has as much to do with the sourcebooks as the rules.