For the most part I agree. Getting locked out of your home play area is a feature, not a bug, since it forces you to travel further if you want to keep expanding. Utility structures are a great compromise imo, since it gives you an incentive to keep claiming even past level 100, but still takes a long time to achieve much and eventually gets capped.
However, I think there is something to be said for the balance being a bit off. The tp system encourages you to place down a ton of level 1 flags everywhere, but then if you ever expand into those areas the system of adding (it might be averaging, I don’t completely remember, but the point still stands) the levels of the lands merging can rack up ridiculous costs. I get nervous claiming land anywhere that I might possibly build up one day, since I know that it’ll be a massive headache and a massive expense to merge. Level 20 merged with 1, then level 25 merged with 1, then level 28 merged with 1, then level 30 and so on can really add up even though you’re really not doing much at all. Maybe merging lands below level 100 could be free, or the ability to delete your own lands could be added so that people don’t feel so boxed in by their own development.