Right there with you. I believe resources for top tier gear should be a challenge to get and limited based on world contribution and expansion. But everything below that and bases should be quick to get because we are looking to get whooped a lot by a tough AI race. So rebuilding can't be too penalizing.
When there are tons of players online, then there will be bigger battles, but there also will be opportunities to get the rarer resources which might not otherwise pop up with a super low server load.
THMPR resource gathering can be the exception, where even with low server population if people group up, they can still push a THMPR to the extreme and get the big battle and big rewards...