No 1.9 doesn't work it's hit somebody 1 time wait 3 seconds hit them again doesn't matter how skilled you are if you have worse weapon or armor you will die. Very stupid system. They did have a cooldown in 1.8 that was perfect it limited to about 10 clicks per second or something like that but, would glitch if you had auto clicker and would do 40 clicks a second with the damage of 20 at least on dedicated server.
In what game does 10 sword swings per second sound like a realistic combat system? That's exactly what i mean by being happy for this change as it is keeping the 12 y/o away from pvp unless they actually get good at it. Also armor and gear is as important as ever, so i'm not really sure what you mean by that.
Removing the spamclick means that no longer the one that lands the first hit automatically wins (as it was in the past), now you have to actually consider your timing and distance to your opponent so as not to leave yurself open for a counterattack. I remember this being especially problematic with the old system for people that had a bad internet connection, as they couldn't respond fast enough to an attack and usually get themselves killed instantly.