@Stonewall - I personally like the game's death system, although it's much too safe with little penalty outside of PvP. There's an easy fix by requiring something like a 30% "death tax" should your character die in high risk areas (boss dungeons and other high level areas). There are various ways to reduce grind, but it'll still be about doing Y number of hours for 1 to 99 in any skill.
I'd go so far as to say RuneScape has no future. The way the game runs, the engine, the .6 second game ticks, the lack of mousekeys, the death system, the need to grind to get anywhere, the lack of non RNG based end game, the REFUSAL of Jagex to allow accounts to be integrated (share gold between characters so I wouldn't have to grind out gold at 100k/hr for a pure, etc) and the idiotic PVP system all contribute to RS being a dying game. It might not be quick, and it won't be a surprise, but you really can't advertise/build up the player base as RS is now, with the way the game currently works. I wouldn't come back.
While I see (and agree with) your point, I must disagree when you say "integrated accounts". Since the foundation of the game is built strictly on wealth, giving a "new" account copious amounts of wealth would unbalance the game such that only incumbents would be suited to play best.
There's also a point that the playerbase is "institutionalized" and wouldn't accept change easily. If RuneScape were to fundamentally change, the community wouldn't be able to take it.
@Makoto - Sorry, but that mindset does not in any way mesh with the reality of a game where on the 200 million xp thread you have common cases of billions in donations. Why is it perfectly fine for a friend to give your new account a 2 billion gp bank, but for some reason it's unfair and unbalanced if you give another of your own accounts the same amount? Now, I'm not saying I disagree with the theory. However, it's a theory that's competing with a 10 year old game economy with unlimited trade. Unless you bring back trade restrictions on top of creating another closed economy (see Runescape Reboot thread), there's no way to stop a new account getting large amounts of cash from "friends".
As for bringing in new players, I'm at a loss. My daughter has become interested in the game recently, so it's reasonable to guess some parents out there that played the game are introducing their kids to it. The open ended quest and skilling aspects will attract an older crowd. I just don't see it attracting highly competitive, intricate gameplay minded players. Jagex would be better off creating a new game to attract those types.