So I've played around with a lot of different frameworks, trying to find one I was satisfied with. My first thought was to try to doctor CoC to fix the stuff I don't like about it, but once I got into it that ended up being almost a whole re-write of the system, which sorta negated the point. I also thought to trying to build a homebrew from scratch, but then I got bogged down in the "d100/d20/something else" quagmire.
So now I'm looking at what Monte Cook did with Cthulhu d20 and thinking about how I could translate that into a Saga-ized version. I'm thinking of dumping talents all together (possibly shifting some of the better ones into feats), changing feats so you get one every odd-numbered level, and letting players sort of "build their own" class by profession. So at first level, you would assign four points to defense score bonuses (i.e., "+3 Ref, +1 Will"), get training in, say, five skills plus your Int modifier, and pick three feats plus Weapon Proficiency (Simple). BAB would start at 1/2 your level, but more fighty-inclined types could spend a feat for +1 BAB. The base hit die for all classes would be d6, but you could take Increased Hit Die as a feat multiple times to get it up to d10. Then, to facilitate character creation, I'd write up a bunch of prefab templates, like:
Defense Bonuses: +1 Ref, +3 Will
Trained Skills: Gather Information, Knowledge (Anthropology), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Occult), Knowledge (Religion), +Int modifier
Feats: Weapon Familiarity (Simple), Educated (lets you attempt any Knowledge check untrained), Decipher Script (lets you attempt to read an unknown language), Wealth
Defense Bonuses: +2 Ref, +2 Fort
Trained Skills: Gather Information, Knowledge (Bureaucracy), Knowledge (Worldly), Perception, Security, +Int modifier
Feats: Weapon Proficiency (Simple, Common Firearms), Improved Hit Die (d8), +1 BAB (ranged)
This loses some of the benefits of classes as a unifying mechanic, but hopefully will be a better overall structure for the kind of experience this game is intended to deliver.
As always, comments or suggestions are welcome. :)
 In theory, d100 should be extremely granular; in practice, it's actually "d10 with variations." In terms of a wide spread of possibilities, you actually get the most range with a d20 unless you have ready access to a d30 or one of those rare golf-ball-like actual d100s — both of which are more than likely to roll off the table every time you try to make a skill check.