I understand your concern TrueDoubleBlue but here's the way I look at it:
The RTP is a good rule and needs to stay but it needs to be improved. It is a good rule to protect the most vulnerable player on the field. How many other players have 1500 pounds of humanity bearing down them with one objective- sack him for a loss? Yes, this is contact football and there can be a price to pay but let's be perfectly candid.
When the fans see the opposing QB laid out it gets their adrenalin going. The fans become rabid! Oh we don't see it but I'd love to crawl into the heads of those fans. Sure they all say they hope the QB's is not hurt when medical attention is needed out on the field but let's admit it now once and for all…. how many fans are secretly hoping the QB has just been taken out of the game. Why? Because the next QB is not as good and that gives the hometown crowd more optimism.
Let's admit something else. That 1500 pounds of humanity bearing down on the QB will push the envelope as far as it can. If it's a clean take down…so be it. Fair is fair. If the QB gets injured that is the price one pays for being in that position. However, I've seen enough RTP calls made because it was evident that the guy hitting the QB was pushing the envelope. He was intending on making the QB pay the price and even hoping the QB doesn't get off the turf…just as long as it was a legal hit. In a number of cases it was not a legal hit. Could the guy have held up. Sure he could have. So why didn't he? The answer is obvious. Relax on the rule and you have your answer. Most of the guys rushing the QB will get away with whatever they are allowed to get away with. And that alone is reason enough to have the rule and enforce it strictly.
These players are not idiots. They know if the QB is taken out of the game it greatly enhances their chances of winning.
How can the rule be improved? Eliminate the RTP infraction when contact was clearly accidental such when the rusher was thrown off balance by the opposition and crashed into the QB or when the rusher was knocked into the QB by one of the QB's own players.
When I guy is bearing down on the QB and the QB releases the ball and it is question of whether or not the guy could have held up the tie should always go to the QB- even when it doesn't appear fair.
Like you I find it frustrating to see a 2nd and long end up as a RTP penalty, a 15 yard gain and a fresh set of downs but so far I've seen the call justified far more than the odd stinker of a call.