Spreading the ball-playing around is not new. It just went away for a while. Statistically we see less passes per game under the new rules, but that doesn't mean the players aren't a threat to pass.
A hit-up with a genuine support runner on your hip counts the same in the stats column as a hit up where your teammates are standing around scratching their balls. In general though, you can't have 2 bosses on a footy field. You can have players organising their own edges, but one of those blokes is the boss.
As for the lack of playmakers, how about NRL Player Development Framework?
Or how about this from a scientific journal article on the Pygmalion effect
RL junior rep teams in the last 20 years are comprised mostly of early bloomers (not necessarily the best players) AND when players are identified early, coaches provide those players with more specialised training. The system actively discriminates against younger and/or smaller kids who may actually be better players.
Another way to think about this is that that if you take two kids born in March and September playing in the same team. The kids are equally competent/skilled, but the older one is a little taller, a little faster, and a little heavier. Who is more likely to be a good footballer 3 years from now? It should be the younger player. He is holding his own playing in a league where almost everyone is older than him - and when his growth spurt arrives he's going to overtake the other kid.
Rep coaches don't think like this though. They pick the more developed kid, he gets picked in every team for the next 3 years and when he turns out to be really good everyone says "see - I told you he was better than that other kid", without taking in to consideration that you just gave him 3 years of specialised coaching that the other boy didn't get. Where could he have been with the extra effort put in to him?
If you do this often enough and for long enough you end up with a generation of footballers who were picked because they were bigger and faster than their peers and not because they understood the game.
For me personally, the unicorn in junior RL is 7 who can lead his team around the park and
talk to a referee. To date I've found those two things mutually exclusive. 7 steering the ship, 9 talking the ref seems to be healthy compromise - but only if your 9 plays a full game.