Nvidia has an extension for creating command buffers in modern GL.
The reason for the lack of similar functionality is that there is a lot of state involved regarding how to render and the display list be affected by a lot of different state. For example changing the blend state requires patching the fragment shader on some hardware.
NVidia solved it by ...
At many places in CG hardwares and algorithms you have the choice between vector description and raster description. Oscilloscops, radar, lasers shows, plotting tables, laser cuts directly follow lines and curves; these are the vectorials devices. LCD, inkjet and laser printers, stereolithographic 3D printing, follow pixels and voxels; these are the raster ...
A raster display draws every pixel on the screen in every frame whether there is something to show or not.
A random scan display activates only those pixel which are occupied by an geometric primitive.
So yes, they both use pixels, but the difference is in how they draw the pixels onto the screen.