BTW, I really liked "Show Don't Tell" part of the OP as well. I immediately thought of the young town captain that you're introduced to in the beginning of the game. If you notice, towards the end of Act I you'll no longer see him in town. What happened to him? Well, you can walk down the Old Tristram rode and find his corpse. :_(
Nothing is mentioned about him. He's just another decent chap that fell victim to these dark times.
Yes. Boom. That is wonderful SDT storytelling.
But it doesn't always have to be dialogue free. It's more about the story unfolding via experiences than via exposition.