One take on this that I've been considering is allowing players to make gestalt Noble/[insert class here]. This is especially useful for Fighter/Nobles, who wish to become Knights of Solamnia, and it gives them a game stick by which to measure their influence (this take is not for everyone - and I agree, sometimes giving the characters so much rope that they hang themselves with game mechanics is a thing to be avoided).
The main reason I was considering it, was I had dug out my Oriental Adventures book, and got it into my head that having everyone play Samurai would be fun (note, this would samurai caste - not everyone would be the reworked Fighter class). So, Noble/X gestalt would have been fine for that game, and would have shown some of the divide between castes in highly stratified asian cultures.
We are Dragonlance!
Sorrow's Explanation of THAC0 for the Mystically Inclined: "THAC0 is merely a fintessimable quantifier of the physical capability to intrude upon an object in four-dimensional space, by utilizing the unyielding laws of the universe."