Man, whenever I read your rants I want to write in some of the ideas you gave me. Now I want to inject a philosopher noblewoman into my story. :-P Of course, it would be tricky. "The country is being destroyed by zombies, but I'm going to sit in my tower and try to define what an object in physical space is."
This rant actually represents a fair portion of my beef with high fantasy. Looking at the fantasy at my local bookstore, I see that the plots are all basically the same - person goes on quest to retrieve Mystic Object and slay Ancient Evil for great justice, Mary Sue rebels against patrical/mysogynistic/homophobic establishment for great justice, and so on. If you go outside fantasy (and romance, I suppose) you find a much more variety. Mainstream fiction goes into all kinds of topics, such as stories about artists, philosophers, scientists, and just regular Joes. Hell, you already have a fantastic world, why not write about a regular Joe (or Jane)? Fantasists have so much to work with and do so little to exploit it.
By the way, is there any chance you could do a rant on antiheroes? Antiheroes in the sense of "characters with less admirable motivations, qualities, and personalities." I'm very curious to know your attitude on this type of character.
I used to rely on bookstores for a lot of my "new" authors; I'd wander along the shelves and pick up whatever caught my fancy. The last couple times I tried that, though, I ran into the same thing. Perhaps the books were quite different inside, but their back cover blurbs and first chapters were all equally uninspiring. The prince/princess/chosen peasant has to go on a quest, has magic, competes against people who are announced as evil in the back cover (special bonus points if those people are the protagonist's parents or siblings), and there are special magical objects involved. I'm just so tired of it. Now I rely on recommendations and reviews for my shopping.
A rant on antiheroes might be possible. I'd have to clarify my own thinking about them, first.