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In regards to armor.
High dex trumps armor in 3.x/pathfinder simply because the better the ac the more it limits your dex. In pathfinder 1.0 I remember rogues gonig for bracers of defense because they were the best option due to their dex.
The simplest solution it to grant DR to armor.
You want your plate armor to have an advantage over 1/2 plate? Give it higher DR.
Armor give a DEX pen (not a max dex limit) which equals the DR given
Leather armor/ studded leather / other natural armors like hide) no dex pen no dr bonus.
heavier clunkier armor dex pen of 1-2 with a corresponding dr bonus.
Heavy armor dex pen of 3-6 with a equal dr bonus.
and to have those values scale, magic items bonus no longer add +1 to ac but instead lower the dex penalty by 1 (or if already 0 adds one) and increase the dr by 1.
Classes of armor stays (light medium heavy) which can still effect move penalties and also give guide lines to how much dex/dr shift there is.
Effect. High dex people are hit less but take more damage when they are, heavy armor people are hit more but take less damage per hit.
A high level character in magic +5 full plate would get dex -1 and 11 DR. Making the character in that armor seem invincible to fist level characters (because although they can hit him they cant hurt him) which seems fair and a high level character in leather +5 that is high DEX seem untouchable by low level characters due to very high AC which also seems to fit in a theatrical sense).
my two cents.