When I began training, I wanted to be an EN because it seemed to me that they were the REAL nurses, and the RNs were the managers. That was my perspective, (I was a nursing auxiliary for a couple of years before training), and it seems that losing the ENs was a bad move, for the reasons you stated.
RNs don't tend to get involved in hands-on 'tasks', and those that do, the HCAs, don't have either the knowledge base or the accountability to complete the task safely.
Washing patients is another example. Its an opportunity for a trained nurse to examine pressure areas, skin hydration, patient mobility and dexterity, etc, as well as actually talking to them!
But its become a task given to an HCA, and they are simply not in a position to make these sort of assessments, they just complete task.
I was in the UK this summer, and worked agency in a medical assessment ward. The shower rooms were used as storage for zimmers, etc, and each patient was given a cardboard bedpan of warm water and hibiscrub to wash with at the bedside.
I kicked off, removed the zimmers, and took each elderly patient to the bathroom.
Needless to say I was not exactly popular with the other RNs. They did not see patient care as their job and got mad at me.