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"No, you can't play this awesome character concept that you wanted to try. You thought a knight-paladin that worshiped a god of good luck, trickery, and humor would be interesting THAT'S NICE you can't play him, here have this gimp as fuck fighter instead. No go play and you better fucking enjoy playing something when you really prefer interesting characters. Oh, and don't bother naming the fighter, he won't live long enough for it to matter."
Yeah, fucking totally superior to being able to have a character you want to play, I see what you mean.
You're not playing AD&D, you're playing house-rules-game #5432756. Amusingly enough, both things you just mentioned are available in 4e.
And no, there are no rules SWAT teams that will break into your house for house ruling modern editions. Hell, for 3.5, I had a small 3-ring-binder full of house rules to try to balance out the game or to make certain aspects better.
Not all things that have sequels are better (The Matrix?). However, trends in products are generally pretty easy to follow. A modern ford is gonna be a good bit better than a Model T car. When Model T cars came out, they were hot shit. Fucking awesome. Anybody would have been glad to have had one. Fast forward to today, and they just aren't economical cars. You can't easily take one to work and back if you have an hour commute, because they can't do highway speeds. Insuring one would be hell, to say nothing of routing maintenance because of lack of parts.