In a message dated 04/17/99 3:19:16 AM Pacific Daylight Time,

Part of the problem as I see it is that in AD&D, there is fairly
> little game effect between, for example, an 8 DEX and a 14 DEX. By
> having high stats, the well-coordinated fighter (who has high DEX) and
> the big strong fighter (who has high STR) operate very differently
> within the framework of the game.

I partly agree with this, but more on the range of 11 to 14 :-) I DM a
PC with a dex of 8 and he knows his character has got a dexterity of 8.
Attribute checks is one way to enforce this feeling, especially if you
bring certain minimum requirements to certain actions (as is suggested
in one of those official blue books, don't know which).

One way to make every point of Strength count for something is to simply use
the encumbrance rules. If you make PCs keep strict account of encumbrance,
you will find that only characters with above average strength can wear metal
armor and carry a normal assortment of weapons and adventuring gear and still
move at least 9". Weaker PCs, especially those with a strength of 9 or less,
simply are not strong enough to wear metal armor and move above a snail's
pace. Encumbrance is so often ignored because players don't want to deal
with the reality of weight restrictions; they want to wear plate, carry four
weapons and every piece of equipment under the sun while still moving at full
speed. But encumbrance can become a party-wide challenge as the stronger
characters have to carry the food and most of the other common party
equipment, while the weaker PCs have to figure out the best protection they
can wear and still be able to move reasonably fast. No one wants to get left
behind if the party has to make a run for it.