Yeah, with the exception of the one where you need the ladder (level 5?) and the last dungeon you could tackle those in any order. And given the fact that you can grab tons of rupees from caves early on and buy the Blue Ring, the only major challenge was that some enemies took longer to defeat until you racked up enough hearts for a new sword.
This could be done to a lesser extent in Link to the Past, as well (Misery Mire first to make Ice Dungeon easier, anyone?). But the first Zelda did it the best. Personally, I'd be thrilled to have that type of overworld again.
I thought SS had plenty of changes, more than enough to distinguish it from it's predecessors, and I have a hard time understanding why some people say otherwise. I've heard lots of people criticize it for having the "collect A amount of B's in A dungeons, plot event, collect C amount of D's in C dungeons" structure, but that's mostly a cosmetic thing, it doesn't much change how the game plays. Unless you propose we do away with dungeons entirely. Where SS ran into problems was with it's overworld design, lack of side content, and focus on retreading old areas. But as far as changing up the series, it did well. --- Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a hideously underrated game.