I'm fine with how the combat itself is. It can be janky, sure, but a game is more fun when every encounter is a challenge than if there's no challenge at all.
I'm reminded of one of the Penny Arcade Rainslick episodes, can't remember which. It has a jrpg style, except items are x number of uses per battle instead of use once only and hp/mp/whatever automatically recovers after each fight, which in turn allows the game to throw everything it can at you each battle, and force you to work for each one and use everything you have access to rather than the typical grind. It's a great design, but that level of challenge without a convenient way of refilling lost resources means a huge amount of downtime inbetween challenges, which in turn makes it feel a lot more boring than it should be. Jade Empire has almost a great system, but falls short in one key area imho.