Another bloat I really hated is Hit points. Although It doesn't bothers me as much as it used to. But I used to hate that a fall from a roof could kill a level one character. And a level 10 could take crazy amounts damage.
I think its one of the reasons I prefer to run low level adventures and rarely like to continue a campaign past level 6 or 8.
The other day I stumbled across E6 (Epic 6). It is basically the Idea of ending progression at level 6. At every 5000 exp you give out a feat. The basics of it is to make a gritty and more tolken'esq style of game.
Here is some info on it from: Epic_6 Wiki
Q: Where did E6 come from? A: E6 was inspired by the article Gandalf was a Fifth-Level Magic User by Bill Seligman. The article was published in The Dragon (which became Dragon magazine) in issue #5, March 1977. When I first had the concept of E6, where we used the first six levels for the whole game, my very first step was pitching it to my players. Some thought it was a great idea, and the rest were willing to give it a try, so I gave it a shot. E6 worked really well for our tastes, and we've done lots of playing inside E6 since then. Back then E6 was a lot more convoluted than it is now: there were intricate quasi-gestalt rules and several other little things that weren’t so much about the cap as they were about my group’s thoughts on D&D class balance. Over time, we found that the only rules we were really using (on both sides of the screen) were the feat rules, and that was producing a great play experience. So when I returned to E6 just recently, that’s how I wrote it up: As it was actually played.
Q: Why 6th level for the cap? Why not 12th, or 20th? A: My experience in D&D is that at around 6th level the characters are really nicely balanced, both in terms of balance against other classes, and against the CR system. Also, there was an element of setting assumptions; each class is strong enough that they're well defined in their role, but not so strong that lower-level characters don't matter to them any more.
While I'm not sure if I want to go to the extremes of only going to level 6 in my games. Although I may just try it. What if i was to cap some things at lower levels though? Like maybe hit point progression.