I'd much rather see abilities like dungeoneering that RuneScape gold require skill (and perhaps a fantastic team, which I think is a very powerful and intriguing idea introduced with this particular skill) and see those fundamentals applied to other things. Agility would be considerably more enjoyable and better gameplay when it had been skill-based and something you could become good at getting fast xp rates, rather than the mindless simple clicking marathon that it is. Such an upgrade wouldn't automatically make the game easier, but it would make it take much less time. As you've stated, the gameplay is simple enough: it is only the time that it takes. Make it even more difficult but faster and you will have a much better match.
Me personally, I'm ok with EoC and no EoC - I just need them to nerf goliaths, swifts, and spellcasters. I believe the major problem is just that, how can you fix the grind? I believe the ideal way is to have high level content that gives you more XP, but in addition, it is instanced, so you're not going to get crashed to all hell. Said high level content would a) offer you food/pots within or b) give you enough money so that you can buy food/pots. They simply need to be certain it is not easily bottable, and I believe it would do the job.
The gloves v chaotics issue is intriguing. I really don't know exactly what the varying time accounts are involving getting gloves and chaotics: certainly the quests and combat level required force you to have a much wider skillset (on a fantastic team, you might possibly get to chaotics with purely a strong battle ability) and require you to put in a fair amount of time. It's quite possible that they've misbalanced this piece of material, even though it's equally possible that 90+ weapons with even larger requirements could be just around the corner. .
If you have a chaotic, you have still got one of the best weapons from the game. . .just not the very best in show, merely up the runner. You aren't in any way'go guessed' or'good fought' unless you roll into PvP and PvM circles. . .but I guess a great deal of chaotics folks do this. Finding those gloves isn't quick , from what I have heard, even though it isn't quite as long as a skill.
An intriguing suggestion you've made, and it's something that Jagex seem to be slowly implementing: eliminating competition, that is. The new hunter DnD moths were instanced per player and after that you might get private hunting areas, the bonfires removed competition and really encouraged coaching together. Runespan theoretically asks gamers to band together to find the runesphere, which might be necessary using its recent update.
Personally, if I had been in charge of overall plan for skills, I'd be working on a policy that increased skill-based upgrades to skills: this is, skills that require ability rather than time. Agility, by way of instance, could be overhauled in order that most classes would offer over the default path, together with the chance to speed up your run if you were good enough at the skill in return for buy RS gold much faster xp.