There's nothing wrong with having multiple verbs in a game so long as you have a USE for them. The major issue with older games like Maniac Mansion is that, while all of the verbs had important functions in the game and multiple uses, many of them were just plain REDUNDANT. OPEN/CLOSE could be reduced to USE, for instance, thereby saving an addition menu click should you want to toggle the door between open/closed. Same with TURN ON/TURN OFF and several of the other oddly similar verbs. When you refine down the controls, I don't think your goal should necessarily to be to make it as plank stupid to use as possible but as an augment to whatever gameplay you have going on. It's perfectly reasonable to have the cardinal verbs (look, use, take, talk) with a default to walk, for instance. Even so, if you really want you can compress use and take into a single verb like INTERACT, though INTERACT by name doesn't necessarily conjure images of picking up strange rocks so much as pulling a lever or molesting a female sprite. One fairly sensible reduction is to change use to interact and sacrifice talk, since that leaves the player with a reasonable sense of verb purpose.
Ultimately though, the interface needs to deliver the goods (whatever those are), so a mega-simple interface can fall short of delivering just as easily as an overly complex one (lack of things the player would like to be able to do vs. confusion over what does what).
I'm not sure which game I'd list as having my favorite interface; I loved and despised Kyrandia's at the same time (loved the dynamic inventory but hated the backtracking it was designed to accomodate). I definitely think verbcoins have their uses and avoid being intrusive (occupying screen real estate) which is a definite bonus. I think my favorite interface would probably be a couple of basic verbs at the bottom of the screen and an inventory bar you can pluck or drop items into/out of at will.