Captain, the planet's magnetosphere is emitting high-frequency plot rays that will interfere with our ability to remember that we have transporters while on the planet's surface.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
This hellish nightmare scenario at world's end sounds roughly like reality, but without the ground bridge. Then there's Convoy, which had overflowing buckets of scenery, and was about driving. On roads. Without the Ground Bridge.
But ... there's no need to explain how they get somewhere. They turn into cars. They can just drive onto the scene. They can drive away from the base, and then show up elsewhere, and we can just assume that they hopped on Interstate 80 and took this or that exit and so on. I don't see how that's any different from the Ground Bridge.
I see what you're saying - it does make physical damage seem to be less of a big deal, even moreso than simply having a Ratchet or a CR chamber on hand to fix up the heroes for the next episode.
I just don't think it was ever central to the threat. I mean, in Animated, there were humans living on Earth. The Autobots were rarely the ones in danger to begin with. You have an exception like Meltdown or Blackarachnia or the Decepticons, and you have Sari and her key unavailable for whatever reason. The Key had to go away in the third season with the shift to a genuinely action-based plot, and it, obligingly, did.
As for the fight scenes, I really disagree on both points. I actually thought the fight in 23 between Megatron and Prime was one of the best in Transformers. The energy weapons were unconvincing, but the way they were swordfighting to avoid letting each other get any use of said energy weapons almost made me forget that they don't do anything. It was fairly intense.
As for Animated - there were fight scenes? I wouldn't blame the animation style - Star Wars: The Clone Wars did a lot more with a little less - or the Key, since there are "fights" before and after it's introduced. It's just ... not a thing they really did. I think there was something with Lockdown at some point? There were a lot of chase scenes, but that's a different style of blocking altogether. Scenes with Autobots fighting Decepticons tended to be backdrops for witty banter and off-screen plot developments.