Greywulf's post is interesting. It was based in a D&D centric worldview. From an outside context, It looks to me like his sliding scale is allowing him to get close to replicating the some of the traditional advantages of a skill based system. Since this is an agnostic tagged Q, that opens the gates.
Since you are asking for personal feedback, We use a skillbased system that is very freeform. I prefer stats to be prerolled, a long with social level, but we also use some background acquisition rolls to help create backstory. And at creation, we give an EXP budget to choose skills, so even without the differences in spells and weapons or items, one beginning character, even from the same guild, might have a completely different skillset.
In terms of gameplay, most of the experience gained is only in the skill being used, so players only get better at what they do. And they can go to guilds and learn new skills and deepre ones in the skill trees. But due to this; characters 'become what they do'. No getting better at picking locks by killing stuff. No one increases social skills without spending time working with others.
For example, in one of our groups, a healer was offed, and a Caster from the Collegium Arcana, who had learned a little restorative spell ability, was the only real healer the group had. Since he kept casting healing spells, he kept gaining levels in restorative and Life spells...so after 4 sessions of this, he was almost as good a healing caster as a combat/artificer mage (which is how he started). He had become a healer by healing.