Nothing I say is getting through, is it?
Stealthing is overpowered in the real-world. Ever hear of the "element of surprise" or "taking them unawares"? Wonder why the assassins who avoid getting caught tend to stick with surprise attacks? Why absolutely no one who has any desire to win a confrontation, of any sort, ever begins by informing their opponents of their moves or intention? Because stealth is overpowered.
Good grief, I'm beginning to think gamers have actually come to embrace the AI development and balancing shortcomings that have led to the Rambo-approach becoming the most effective tactic…
…however, that leaves me with the same infallible recourse I used last: the broken mechanics of one game need not reflect on another.
It's like hitting yourself in the head, cringing at the pain, then doing it again. Why not…I don't know…stop? You're essentially arguing that, merely because everyone else has and/or is in the process of doing so, AP should hop on board.
If a character with "zero points" in the relevant skill were still able to play "the game as a shotgun guy," well, that's simply a hallmark case of poor game design, with particular regard to balancing and implementation of skills.
Again, stealth guys are inherently overpowered.
Besides, proper implementation of other game mechanics, such as an AI response to sound, would prohibit the more intelligent players from taking on the role of "shotgun guy" in any but the most extreme circumstances. After all, if you're aware, as a player, that the shotgun you chance across will allow you to level the next few baddies with little to no effort, yet bring the rest of the compound forces down on your head, set off alarms like mad and generally turn your stealth approach from a master stroke into an utter waste, why do it? Stealth kills would be such players natural forte, yet they should not be prohibited from using a shotgun if the case arises in which they desire to.
Really, this reads like the very case you cited (and I despise, as well): the D&D mentality of a character's inability to even equip something if they lack the proper proficiency.