Cheers everybody. I'm glad that confusion is the worst problem at the moment -- that can be managed, and nothing so far that has been said is a huge surprise in that department. Pretty much the confusion is where I was not having time to document yet, or things where the wording was unclear and multiple people pointed it out on mantis.
In terms of the pollution death spiral, and the impossibility of expanding out into the larger world, those are balance issues introduced lately. The thing with being impossible to get to act 2 because of some buildings not being around was a bug, among many other bugs fixed in the new build. The impossibility of expansion is now fixed, and the pollution death spiral probably won't happen to you anymore -- BUT the way that pollution, trash, and dead bodies impact you really is not finalized right now, because based on feedback to this version that's getting a more substantial revision than what has happened thus far between 0.910 and 0.911.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks! Overall I keep out of these threads and stick to mantis, so things being pushed up to there is very much appreciated. Hopefully this is getting to a point this week where a lot of what has been of most concern here is all resolved. I think we're pretty close on that front, but we'll just see how it goes each progressing day here.