I tried to not fast travel on my second character playthrough. But just like trying to not sneak, it was too tempting a mechanic to avoid. I do make efforts not to fast travel everywhere but if I have to get from the Mage's College to Calcelmo in Markarth I'm gonna fast travel! I played an archer, where stamina management is directly tied to the aiming mechanic. Playing without a HUD seems like a good way to constantly run out of stamina and miss your enemy.
@jasondesante: GiantBomb was bought by CBSi, which happens to also own Gamespot. I may not be the only one to point this out. I read the rest of what you wrote. You certainly are an optimist. I have no better conclusions, unfortunately.