I would also like to see combat similar to For Honor in terms that it looks good not just 2 people stabbin each other until 1 wins because he has more health, but as people mentioned taking similar approach will not work out in CoE.
a player with a lot of skill but not a lot of ingame progression may be able to beat a guy with all sorts of skills and combos unlocked, but I would see that as a positive
here I agree with you - Combat should be determined by player skill, character skill and character gear:
Player skill - like you said yourself, if I can only spam 1 combo and unable to do anything else I shouldn't win just because I have better gear but my enemy has better knowledge of combat.
Character skill - here where it gets tricky, maybe you are a really good player, but your character still needs to learn to fight, you can't expect 18 y/o kid fight against a knight and win, maybe you can flawlessly perform all combos you know but you do not know how to parry efficiently yet. Let's say enemy has a plate armor, you will not do much with sword by hitting him but technically it's possible to take him out if you go for weak points in armor - now question is, does your character knows those weak points? Did he spend training/reading enough to know where and when to hit. Don't get me wrong though, you should be able to kill opponents of higher combat expertise than you but it would require them to stand still.
Character Gear - This is obvious one, a good swordsmith can make lighter and sharper blade, good armorsmith will make armor more sturdy which will help in combat.