There's something wrong when I can take on two archers without a shield
At risk of only responding to a single line of your argument, this was the one thing in your post I cant really agree with.
Imo one of the enduring things about Warband in any form is that player skill is everything. Sure there have always been techniques, weapons, builds, playstyles and classes that are preferred or overused but at the end of the day in a 1v1 or small engagement the better play always has a chance of winning - there are no true hard counters, no outcomes set in stone based only on the class of the fighters.
A melee fighter always has a chance of killing 2 melee fighters without a shield, so why not the same chance of beating 2 archers? Each of those archers has the chance to kill 2 melee guys without shield if they play right and their opponents don't. But in both scenarios it's worth stressing that if the 2 archers or 2 melee guys are good players, the 1 guy fighting them has to play really well to win that engagement alone.