I love the M&M system. If I were to make my own RPG rules, damage saves would be all I'd use. It's easy and simple, it's a wonder it wasn't used earlier...although I know White Wolf has been around for a while, so maybe it has been used longer than I'm aware.
Hit points show D&D's Chainmail origins, when the game was an extension of a table top minis game. Of course it leads to this:
GM: "you get stabbed in the heart by the assassin's dagger."
Player, ok, so I've got 50 hit points...the dagger does, 1-4 damage, plus str. bonus, so I've got like 40 hps left?"
GM: "no, you've been stabbed. In the heart. With a dagger. You're dead!"
Player: "Wait, what did you roll to hit, 'cause I've got a +4 ring of protection on, remember. Did you remember that."
GM: "It doesn't matter what you've got on, you've been assassinated!"
Player: "But I have 40 hit points left..."
I'd love to run a fantasy campaign using the M&M combat rules.