I don't usually follow threads on boards other than general, personal, and immortal. I read the review concerning Blinq's tragic experience on AVATAR. It is a shame. I'm not sure what happened, but I can almost assure you, measures will be made to prevent it from reoccuring. Yes, I saw someone say recall to a safe stock room like nom. I can't say that I agree. When you get into higher levels there are some places you can only go to via portal which are wonderful for your level.
As far as stock areas. Yes, in the newbie and low level areas we do include a lot of familiar "stock" areas. I mean, I'd hate to log onto a mud for the first time, look around, see a fuzzy pink bunny, try to kill it cause I can on another mud and get my rear handed to me, even though on my old mud I could kill it with one hand behind my back at newbie levels. Also, remember that AVATAR is an old mud, if I remember an article I read right, the entire road system was first created and implemented by the imms of AVATAR (I think it was the dastardly Crom that everyone who writes a review seems to hate). Now whether it was originally on FarSide before AVATAR branched off, is beyond me. The same imm though still plays on AVATAR. *shrug* Good areas are commonly used by other muds because they implement unique ideas, it's as simple as that. All in all, the number of pure stock areas that are still in AVATAR is virtually nil, with the exception of a few newbie areas for the comfort of new players.
As far as not being newbie friendly, look at yourself. Watch chat for a few minutes, what do you see? "Can I get a spell up?" "Where is a good place to level?" "Lvl 7 cle iso group" (five times in five minutes by same char). Spell ups are helpful, but you should learn what your char can do at that level unassisted. Good place to level? either help area (your level) or area (your level) will give you a long list, use maps to find it and help area to give you an idea. And nobody likes Spam, not even a lord who watches 50 channels incase someone seriously needs help.