I've had a revelation. I don't care about game balance. As a player that is. As a DM is a completely different story. As a player I want the system to give me the tools to play the character I want to play. I'm not really concerned about the ramifications of the character I've build beyond it being an interesting character to play and being decent at the job I chose. As a DM I care a lot about system balance. If the system is balanced, I can give general character creation guidelines and receive characters of similar competence from all players. If the system is balanced I can spend more time working on the concept behind an encounter and where it fits into the story, rather than worrying about its difficulty. Yes, I'm aware that there are systems that don't care and expect you to eyeball the encounters or "not care" about their difficulty. I prefer systems with balance. Because with balance I am better informed from the get go, instead of by sheer trial and error. I enjoy the game more when I don't have to DM for a while or have previous experience to determine the difficulty of the situation I'm throwing at my players. Balance gives me that info and makes me a happy DM.