@johnmarron & all
Thanks. I try to keep a level head, and try to discuss things calmly and clearly. It does no one any good if all people do is yell and call each other names.
While in a sense I was "defending" 3e, I know and recognize that you weren't saying it was a bad game. I just think you are looking at some things the wrong way, and so getting a less than favorable idea of some things. I will try to show you a different way so that you might reconsider 3e as a campaign-worthy game.
i'm sorry if just being out of position for one round and still having to close with the enemy is a tough test of your tactical abilities
All it requires is a single Maneuver action to get back to engaged. Consider a Maneuver like a half-action from vx/DH/RT. So, you were pushed back a square or two. Now you need to make a half action to get back into striking distance. You still would need to close with the enemy in v2/DH/RT. I don't see the difference in this example. The advantage of 3e, though, is that you can perform multiple half-actions (maneuvers) during your turn, although you suffer a fatigue point for each one after the first. Some good tactical decision-making is needed there to manage those.
Tactical/Grid combat vs abstract:
I admit our group loves to move the minis and use the grid for our v2/DH/RT games. I admit, I was skeptical about the abstract distance rules of 3e. I was fully prepared to make a hyrbrid system that was quasi-grid/quasi-abstract, to give a more "tactical" feel. After running two games of 3e, though, I found as a GM that I enjoyed the abstract movement. Here are a couple reasons:
1) combat did not take nearly as long. Moving squares, counting squares, etc all took more time than the abstract movement.
2) Aided roleplaying. Rather than concentrating on squares, players described how and where they were moving. This was without prompting from me.
3) Aided group tactics. Yes, I felt it actually helped tactics. Look at it this way... when bound by a grid, the players are stuck with what they can currently do within X distance. With the abstract movement, players could say they "wanted to climb on top of the wagon and duck behind the coachman's box" or "hide under the wagon, and kneecap the Wargor when he comes close" or "I run up next to the Trollslayer and attempt to take the pressure off of him by using a Guarded Position." and so on. The players had more freedom to utilize, and roleplay (see #2) group tactics, without being hampered by "being 1 square short" or somesuch.
4) Less pressure to "get everything position in the right square". This leads primarily into #1. It was faster and flowed better. I could concentrate more on GMing and narrating than figuring out which square who was in, and which square the enemies wanted to move into, and if their weapons/spells were in range, etc.
Now, with this said ... there is absolutely nothing stopping you from running 3e with a grid. Nothing at all. The only thing you'd need to do is give a numerical distance to "engaged", "close", "medium", "long" and "extreme" ranges. Engaged is likely 1 square, close is probably 2-8 or so, medium 9-16, long is 17-32, extreme is 33+. Or something similar. There you go, ranges for all weapons, have movement be Agi * 2 (if you do straight Agi, probably reduce the ranges I proposed by half, since in 3e you can move between close and medium with a single maneuver action...unless that also abstracts to a run or full-move. hmm). Seems relatively robust, and this is just off the top of my head. It won't ruin 3e to use a grid, nor does 3e prevent you from using a grid. Don't let the lack of a grid in the rules mean that you can't use the game for a campaign! Everyone house rules at least a couple things for every RPG. Your group might feel the need to house rule a grid for combat. More power to you!