Not really. Its not bad design since depending on the set of circumstances for every person that whines and complains about it there is another who enjoys it. Take dailies for example, there are several people that enjoy knocking them out day after day. They see it as a quick and easy way to unwind and still get a bonus. The issue you are running into is making that "long journey" is expensive, often so expensive that you simply cannot justify it. As for the "grind" in general, welcome to mmo's, its sorta how they make their money on a number of different levels. Without it they would be treated no different than single player games with the vast majority quickly moving on after they have burned through everything.