I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about D&D and one of the things we talked about was the half-level bonus. I got very passionate about how awesome I thought it was and how it works really well.
I was right, and I was wrong. I sat down today and went over my arguments in support and realized I meant everything I said, but also that it really didn't matter.
The only thing I said that I feel strongly about was how it made characters who have moved on from local issues to grander adventures don't get bogged down by local issues again. But that is me.
My other big argument was that it helped characters who were stripped of their gear deal with threats, but that is just something that 4E was the first system to do right. It doesn't mean that D&D Next needed half-level to achieve the same thing.
So I stand back from my statements. Half-level is fine, and it works, but it is far from the importance I gave it.