This is the same in 5e as well. That's why just about every single person playing a Human uses the Variant Human rule which, instead of +1 all Abilities, gives +1 to two abilities of your choice, 1 additional skill proficiency of your choice, and 1 feat. The feat takes the Human all the way from lame to borderline overpowered - depending on the feat.
The Boring Human Problem happens because we come from a world populated entirely of Boring Humans and in a world of fantasy races with non-human neat stuff, we don't know a good way to give humans neat stuff that real life humans don't have.
I think part of the challenge is that in these sorts of games 'boring' can often be very powerful mechanically. I played 3.5e and even regular humans (there were subraces) were incredible because they got a free feat at level one (free skill too but that wasn't the showstopper). So an ideal design goal imo would be something between "sidegrade to everything" and "small convenience".