I recall often bringing up the issues with large claims in passing to players/staff when I was in more regular attendance, usually in a bit of a cocky tone. Adding my two cents back in, I still believe the old system for land claims worked best, in that a player would have to make meaningful progress on an area before being allowed protection for a build. This method wholeheartedly prevented mass-claims and encouraged integrated meshes of builds, as well as encouraged players to work together to bring an idea to life. Now granted, times have certainly changed. With the addition of WorldEdit, this system was wholeheartedly abandoned for a "quick to claim, quick to WE, quick to build" thought process, most likely to encourage new players joining C to stick around (a sort of bribe, in my opinion).
While many builds nowadays (or at least their builders) require the use of WorldEdit, I am personally under the impression that a large amount of communal interaction has been lost. Take for instance the Dome projects of old- server events essentially created themselves with these megabuilds, announcements for aid were broadcast over every server, people flocked together to assist in something bigger. Now with a single command, what would've taken days, tens of players, and a genuinely good time takes instead a moment & a spot of lag. Soul has been stripped from the pre-building process in general. Sure, players certainly make speedier progress with their builds, I know that I sure have, but do they all stick with their projects? Has WorldEdit helped us in the long run, or has it fostered complacency?
The addition of WorldEdit was the cause of the original shift in policy on Land Claims, and it was a radical one at that. My roundabout & non-tangent point is that WorldEdit is not a necessity for builds, nor has it ever been. Having an enormous land claim with the soul purpose of using worldedit to flatten it (as an example) is simply ridiculous. A land claim should be marked out, as it is currently required. This should not, however, necessitate the creation of a region for the use of WorldEdit. Players should be able to respect a visible land claim on their own, and be trusted to take proper action when approaching the visible bounds of someone's proposed area. Builders should start from scratch, build on their own, to ensure their dedication to the task at hand. When sufficient progress on a build has been made (upon the discretion of an attending experienced staff member), a protection could be made to permanently establish a build's dominion over an area. At THAT point, WorldEdit functionality should come into play.
A player or group of players should show they are committed to the task at hand before asking for any excessive claim for a build. If you're building a mountain, start building a pile of blocks, etch your detail yourself. If you're digging a pit, call your fellow players for assistance, make a game out of the game. If you want to make a large area flat, start frantically clicking that mouse. Preserve the world, build & destroy only in the space you specifically need, rather than another 33% of space that you'll never use, but will always bear the mark of a WorldEdit.
A side note- Expansions should come as FINAL resorts, say when a map is 75% filled or more. Looking back over past revision cartographs, large sections of forests and lakes/oceans are often left abandoned. This is usable space, even if a player is forced to erect an island from the sea floor themselves. When your glass is half-full, dont fill it up immediately; finish your drink, then decide if you need another.