But the point you seem to not get regarding old school/turn based/auto-pause is this:
In BG and such it was at least somewhat approximate in replicating turn based combat because we could set up the auto-pause to pause automatically when, for example damage was taken or or the round was over or whatever.
Yeah, I got the point and love turn based games myself, I just ... kind of.. never saw BG as one,
didn't feel like trying to make it appear as one either. Might have liked it that way, never tried.
Despite being anything but turn-based and taking character control away from you during fights (the infamous dance of death), I still loved the combat of NWN, maybe more than that of any other D&D game. It's just a different thing entirely.
On semi-related note, have you tried Temple of Elemental Evil?
Because I think you'd like the combat of that one, pure turn based goodness.
Trust me that I have played all of the turn-based D&D games (though I spent very little time and effort on the Dragonlance games, partially because I did not think much of the books) and known ToEE well. Best combat in any D&D game.
[In NWN1]... you only had to control your own character, no control over the henchmen. Much less hassle.
Now when NWN2 was built on NWN foundations and there wasn't an autopause in the first one, I guess adding it didn't come up or was not considered worthwhile for some reason...
That does make good sense.
Another possible reason is that on Infinity Engine games, the most useful option was "auto-pause on enemy sighted" (added in the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion to BG1) due to the very short spotting range (especially with 640x480 resolution screens) meaning you could only "see" 2-3 character-heights' distance (giving you 1-2 seconds to react before melee).
NWN/NWN2 gave you the ability to see opponents from further away, making that particular auto-pause option less necessary. While IE games had other pause options (pause on death, serious injury, out of ammo) in practice I found (and still find) the enemy sighted to be the most useful. The only time I've used "pause on turn start" is with the final BG2 battle (with the Ascension mod) due to the magic-heavy nature of that combat and the need to know exactly when party members can start their next spell.
Yeah I used the "When enemy spotted", and "when PC damaged" conditions for the most part but it was nice having the options to bring combat as close to turn-based as one needed.