The real problem isn't stats in RPGs, it's people that think they can make a better game of a certain genre by making it a different genre. F- off. You're not talking about improving RPGs, you're talking about making RPGs something completely different. Zelda is NOT an RPG, it has always been labeled what it is: an adventure game. Note that there is a difference between point-and-click adventure and just adventure. These days EVERY damn game has some kind of "rpg element" in it. It's getting out of hand. Technically EVERY game is an RPG because RPG means role playing game and you're always playing some kind of role.
It's simple, RPGs aren't defined by the fact they have stories, or parties, they're defined like every other game genre ever: by how they play. RPGs have stats, end of story. jRPGs have a lot of menus in battles, wRPGs typically have top-down views and open-ended gameplay, though the view can be changed, like Bethesda's turds-in-a-box games. Bioware makes wRPGs, Bethesda makes turds and calls them RPGs. Games like Zelda are adventure games, like Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Jak & Daxter, or the old Banjo-Kazooie games, because they're less linear than aRPGs, and have less stats. Some would argue Banjo-Kazooie is a platformer, but platformers focus more on actual platforming, like the recent 'Splosion Man, or Mirror's Edge. Back to RPGs, you also have aRPGs, action RPGs like the Seiken Densetsu (Mana) series and Kingdom Hearts. And finally there's sRPGs, strategy RPGs like Front Mission, FFTactics, and Disgaea and all NIS's many other games. And that's just RPGs and RPG-like genres, there's way, way more genres than that, people just need to pay more attention to their language and stop being so vague. And people also need to stop trying to make a game something it isn't. As soon as you get your RPG without stats it'll no longer be an RPG. In fact we already have tons of those, you just need to get out of your hole.