Well, personally, I suppose I'm just the opposite. I like decent combat, same as he probably likes a decent story, but I could care less about playing through fifty-bajillion times to get every single super-special-secret ending and achievement. I beat a game once, and that's it. I have drawn my enjoyment from it, and I do not NEED to say, "Time to do it again, only EVIL, and with a PISTOL ONLY."
I also enjoy min/maxing as much as the next RPG nerd, but if a game doesn't have a good story/allow for good roleplay (and the two aren't necessarily synonymous mind), then I can't really get into it for the same reasons I do an honest-to-God RPG.
It's like, consider the difference between, say, Planescape: Torment, the purest RPG I've ever had the pleasure of imbibing like raw cocaine over a full week of laborious days and sleepless nights, where story and roleplay are the reason to get into the game and the combat, while competent, is merely an afterthought, and Diablo 2, where combat and min/maxing are the bread and butter of the game and the story, while well-done and well-staged, is ignored by most of the players.
Honestly, I liked both games, but I liked Planescape much, much more since it was, to me, a much richer and more rewarding experience than Diablo 2's hack-and-slash, however masterfully done, as evidenced by the fact that while I beat the first in a week or two of uninterrupted play, I have yet to beat the second and my interest tends to "peter out" when I come back to try. I'm sure Elmsdor will report an opposite experience.
What point am I getting at here? Well, I say that I see what you mean, and that, what you're doing, essentially a Baldur's Gate-esque attempt to fuse the two together with "pick a side and then go kill things," is probably the best possible compromise to please the greatest number of players, and that as long as there are a few "certain amount of karma/stat-points required to pick this options" choices to avoid killing people over misunderstandings over the course of the game, I'll be fine.