Interesting you feel the card powers reduce your choices, when to me it feels the game is very limited in choice and more deterministic without them.
Additionally, I consider the action rule to add some balance to the cards, by e.g. making playing 1 to the canvas much more powerful as it allows you to reduce your opponent's canvas in addition to just adding a crappy card to your own. The effect from 3s is crazy good (card draw is good, right), while the effect from 5s I mostly consider a negative and aim to draw a card with them by discarding them to the palette instead of adding them to my canvas. (Though admittedly 7 is great pretty much any way you play it.)
So in short, I prefer the "full rules" of the game. To me, the limited rules are only useful for procedurally teaching the game.