Talk about milking it.....
I for one think all games should NEVER have Levels. Why? Take Stalker for example. You never had levels (granted you never got skills either which sucked). But leveling is stupid in and of itself. A character should never be impervious, equipment or level wise. The ONLY game that did this well was Ultima Online. Sure you got levels, but your hitpoints never went above 100 nor your skills. You were always vulnerable to a moderately sized mob or skilled group.
So in UO I may be level 50, but 4-6 level 10-15 guys could easily take me down, granted half of them might die. It was great because you always asked yourself "Fuck, should I make this gold run back and forth or get my friends?"
WOW doesn't do this for shit and it blows because of it. Remove leveling, simply add skillsets that you must take time and/or pay to learn. In real life nothing is prohibiting me from learning guitar, archery, shooting assault weapons, driving a car, riding a bike etc etc except time and money.