It seems like a difficult line to draw between fair/balanced and too harsh.
I think we all agree that there should be some type of a death penalty, but we can't agree on what it should be.
My experience is that the people insisting that penalties should be severe and unforgiving just argue from that point of view because they think it makes them badass. It reminds me of that scene in Happy Gilmore where Happy goes to the batting cages and stands there and lets the balls hit him. Tough ol' happy later goes on to get his *** kicked by a 70 year old game show host. Being willing to accept consequences that most people would deem unnecessary or excessive doesn't prove or accomplish anything.
Imagine thsi conversation, if you will:
MadGuy>> I quit! I've had enough of this crap!
OtherGuy>> What's going on?
MadGuy>> This game sucks!
OtherGuy>> What do you mean? You don't like the combat?
MadGuy>> No, no, the combat is fine. I actually really like it.
OtherGuy>> You don't like the scenery?
MadGuy>> No, that's fine too. Actually, it's gorgeous.
OtherGuy>> You think the story is lame?
MadGuy>> No way! The story is awesome! It's one of the best parts of the game!
OtherGuy>> Economy issues?
OtherGuy>> So if you like the combat, you like the look of the game, and you like the story, and the economy is fine, what's so bad about it that you suddenly want to quit?
MadGuy>> There's not enough of a penalty when you die.