Pacing and Accessibility are 2 things that are not directly linked. Vs is for things like fast vs slow, good vs evil, male vs female. Also i think this 2 topics are both good topics that can be separately discussed. Reading through your post, i think the crux of your post is how to make jrpg more accessible to rpg newcomers. Is that so?
Monster's Den (Kongregate) does not so much as make menu-based faster or more accessible; it just adapt a menu-based meant for console and adapted it for web browsers. Another similar example is The-West, a browser game from innogames. In The-West, you have only 1 character which you can pre-set your command( where you want to hit for each round). Then you just click attack on other player and the game will resolve the conflict.
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
To me, bashing the “Fight” command is precisely that. It can be removed without reducing the game depth in it. The only reason it is there is like what others here have said to give players a way out if they run out of potions to use the other options. There are many ways to prevent users running out of potions and therefore get into a point of no return.
I think the issue is bigger than just the problem of always bashing the “Fight” command. The issue with those Retro/Console (J) RPG i played is that All Attack commands(Fight, Magic, skills, summon) or whatever you called it is strategical irrelevant.
In a roleplaying game, there are 3 components: Resource Management (getting enough hp and mana pots) Character Power(Levels, Skill power of attacks, Stats) Tactical decision in fight( Who to choose to fight who, with which attack command)
The problem is that if Character Power is high enough, you can kill anything just by bashing the “Fight” or any attack command for that matter.
The solution is then to a) keep the balance between Character Power and Tactical decision in fight or b) Make them incomparables.