Personally, I despise life paths and will no longer play a game where I am required to use one. They are one one of the most vile systems ever to be inflicted on players.
Well, there are also really two subsets of the concept.
There's the Traveler style version where it's a complicated element of rolling up a character with the promise of great benefits, and the threat of PC death before entering play.
R. Talsorian's from Mekton and Cyberpunk didn't give or take away anything. They were just a tool for determining background. Family status, romantic relationships, social standing, appearance, etc. They even explicitly said they weren't required and if you didn't like a roll to roll again, or pick something you liked, or make something up.
I was referring more strongly to the second even if it's, I suppose, not really a mechanic compared to the first.
On a similar note, the Mythic Game Master Emulator. Great tool for a seat of their pants GM when the players ask a question you don't know the answer to. Put it in a yes/no format, pick the likelihood, roll some dice and not only give you an answer modified by the current conditions it generates random twists and plot points.