As for suggestions, I'd like to see your character's stats have more of an influence in non-combat situations.

That is an excellent suggestion. If I may make the comparison with Morrowind, I like the fact that speechcraft was very important, or how diplomacy was benificial in Lionheart. Instead of 'speed', how about implemeting 'charisma' (maybe as a subtler substitute for a character's reputation)?

I am in blood
Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.