If cRPGs were designed for RT combat (which they are not, they are turn-based games crammed into real time, or as Emrikol said: simultaneous turn) they wouldn't need pause. And therefore cRPG have pause, because they systems those games use were not designed to be played in such a way. It's a compensation rather then a deliberate design.
One would think big army game would need pause more then managing 6 characters. And yet, real-times games don't need pause, because they were designed as real-time games. cRPG using turn-based systems were not.
I recall reading something about how Bioware, when making BG, was trying to compete with the success and popularity of games like Diablo, and thus, came up with the "RTwP" method, which, as you said, is an attempt to make a turn-based system (D&D) compatible with the new, shiny capabilities of computers. But I think we have gotten to a point where we're no longer fascinated by the new thing (RT) and can appreciate how the older method still has a lot, if not more, to offer. As a musician, I am reminded of how much better the older recording methods were over the more modern, computer driven methods; but that was not apparent at first, nor for a long while after. But I digress.