I hate being frozen (whether in a block of ice or affected by a petrification status effect) in combat. It's annoying as hell. I prefer slow-down effects, because you can still control yourself to get out of the way of something, or hit back with a well-timed strike. A close-second is being made unable to attack (thinking of Curse from Symphony of the Night or Curse of Darkness, in the Castlevania series (but not Curse from Aria of Sorrow or Dawn of Sorrow, which drains your MP)), because action/RPGs are all about being able to attack.
On the flip side, I love action/RPGs where you get to choose your character growth (as opposed to stats increasing in a predetermined distribution). In any game, I like having as much customization as possible. I've long felt that the reason Symphony of the Night is so popular in spite of glaring balance issues was the gigantic equipment list (and the fact that most weapons had special moves that did interesting things... like the Jewel Sword, which made enemies drop salable gemstones instead of their regular drop items, and if you did "weapon special move 1" with it (quarter-circle-forward + attack), a random number of coins (1- would appear out of the attack animation. It was in no way useful enough to make enough money to pay for high-level equipment (it even drained your MP so you couldn't do it constantly), but way less than half of all weapons went without a special ability of some kind.
Symphony of the Night also had the ability to equip items in each hand, be it a pair of one-handed weapons, a weapon and a shield, a big two-handed weapon, or a pair of one-shot items (even healing items were used by equipping them to a hand and then using the action button for that hand). I can't remember a single other Castlevania game with as many equipment slots as Symphony of the Night (although to be fair, after how unbelievably overpowered certain equipment was in SotN, can you really blame them for taking it safe for years later?).
While SotN had lots of equipment, it did suffer from the disadvantage that all its equipment was made by hand. There are plenty of other action/RPGs with dynamic equipment. The Diablo games are probably what leap to mind for most people... I think of Champions of Norrath, a PS2 game, or Mount&Blade. Mount&Blade used only the prefix system, in that weapons came with semi-random prefixes which altered their stats in some way. For example, a watered-steel bastard sword was more powerful (and expensive) than a rusty one. Champions of Norrath also had the tacking-on-prefixes-to-change-stats thing going on, but had slots to insert gemstones into your weapons, and going a step further, reflected changes to your equipments' stats by changes to your character model. If you're wielding a regular sword, you see a regular sword. If you insert a gem that gives it fire damage, you're now wielding a flaming sword. The weapon I last remember using was a triple-elemental blade with an animation that was extremely cool to watch.
So, in summary, customization = good, helplessness = bad.
EDIT: How did I misspell "customization"?