I know this is being done to death but I feel like this needs clarification. City size doesn't just matter because of aesthetics. When I want to build my own city I want the freedom to build what I want where I want it. For the most part, that's what's done within the allotted areas for development. But that's my gripe altogether, I can't build what I want where I want it. I have to conform to an arbitrary boundary and I have to maximize efficiency based on what I'm trying to develop within those parameters. It's not really SimCity once you account for that difference...in fact the entire notion of a simulator is done away with once those boundaries interfere with my ability to perceive my city as something that could exist in real life. I cannot think of a single city made in such a fashion.
Those boundaries are so jarring that it takes away from the element that I liked so much about previous SimCity games. And to be honest, it's the only large flaw I can find with the game. Other things that have been done to streamline the experience (Power lines, Sewage, water, waste, etc) are fantastic additions to the series! Those were always laborious and draining and did nothing for the game in terms of visuals because once that was done you went above ground and thought nothing of it. I had the same feeling about subway systems. The graphics are fantastic! Lighting is so nice to gawk at night, emergency lights catch your eye, and car lights are good at indicating traffic flows. That's why it's so hard to understand why anybody thought having these squares as the defined lines of a given city was a good idea...
I don't particularly care about the social factors, I never played SimCity to play with other people. It was a sandbox game...would it be cool if people could view my huge metropolis while I played? Yeah..I guess. But it's not an overriding desire of mine because playing a game like this has always been about what's fun for me, not what's fun for other people. That's an addition that I'd consider only after everything else is accounted for.