SimCity should be the most amazing thing ever, but it's vision is marred by the fact that both ways of playing it, single-player (private region) and multi-player, are at odds with each other. I tried to answer these questions:
1. If it's primarily a multi-player game, then why are cities so small as to compel 90% of players to want to control more than one.
2. If they knew that we'd want to control more than one city, especially on a private server, why is the UI geared to be only multi-player focused? (I have to load another city to send that city's dump trucks for example)
3. Why can't you request resources/police/etc from cities in the UI, rather than having to ask that player to send you those resources through small chat? What if they're not playing?
4. Why does it have to be always-online, yet all data is sent asynchronously, including gifts to other cities?
Essentially, the maps are too small for being a game where you only play one city with lots of friends, and it's too multi-player focused to have the UI and experience geared towards helping you manage multiple cities. It can't do either to fullest potential. The more I play, and the more cities I try to manage, the more disappointed I am with how this game has turned out.
Am I alone on this?