...because why not? That's what this forum is for, right?
From what I have seen from the discussions so far, most people in this forum would like a new housing system, featuring a hookless system that would offer greater levels of customisation. From my brief reading, it seems that this has been rejected due to difficulties in coding with the existing system, and concerns that removing all players' hard-earned trophies for the sake of a select few (and, evident from posts here compared to other sub-forums, we are few). Given that there is a market for housing to be sold, and money to be made, I'd guess that Turbine have made a good assessment of the pros and cons, and if they were going to change to a new system, they would have done so already.
I could, of course, be perfectly wrong, and it shouldn't stop the petitions and people expressing their desires, but let us for a moment assume that the hookless system is not going to make its way into LOTRO. That shouldn't mean an end to the development of the housing system.
My suggestion is not an upheaval, but simply an expansion. We stick with the hook system, the instanced neighbourhoods, and we just create a few more. I know exactly where, because this has been a bugbear of mine since I started playing. Those closed-gated ports to the 'less interesting' parts of Eriador. The Shire leads to the Far Downs and the South Farthing. Ered Luin to North Ered Luin and the Grey Havens. Bree's Southern pass is the only exit that is actually covered by the story. Otherwise these areas are just silently cut off.
I once wondered if these areas would one day feature in LOTRO as fully-fledged quest packs, but in gameplay terms to do so would either be unneccessary or inappropriate. There are a wealth of areas for levels 5-25 already, and these areas pass quickly. Another starting area would do nothing to keep old-hands at level cap playing, and little to attract new players. Equally, to make the South Farthing a level 70 area might fill in a quest gap (65+ and we get very funnelled, at the moment) but it would seem ridiculous and likely confusing and disappointing to new players exploring Eriador for the first time.
But what if we opened these areas, on a smaller scale, into new instanced neighbourhoods?
On a simple level, you have neighbourhoods of a larger size than the present ones - operating on exactly the same system - but with larger houses offering more hooks and greater space. A Small house in the South Farthing, for example, could be the same size as a Deluxe House in the Shire homesteads. Equally a Deluxe House in the SF would be the size of a kinhouse in the SHs. Or perhaps there could be more variation. Equally, if you buy a new house in the new areas, you lose your old one in the same way you would if you switched from one homestead to another at present. The point is that the old system stays, but it gives us more to play with.
As much as I would love these new houses to be bought with regular old gold, it's ultimately going to be a TP purchase. Turbine aren't a charity and a new feature has to bring in some income to justify it. You'd have to start small, experimenting with one area and seeing what the market is (and reading people's reactions to the concept in the forums!).
That's the core of the idea.
Now we get into concepts for development, that are by no means mandatory, are possibly implementation nightmares, and I hope if they are unrealistic they won't taint the above.
What if these housing instanced areas were relatively large (I'm thinking 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the Shire, say), and were able to support local, repeatable quests? And what if, just what if, there were areas where Orcs, Goblins, Angmarians and the Dead WEREN'T just over the hills, and the closest thing to combat was hunting conies? If tasks were based on collection systems, crafting systems, buying systems and (*deep intake of breath*) a SMALL handful of timed-delivery quests? There could be a rep system for the areas. It could even be a competitive thing, with a scoreboard ("Villager of the week" or something a bit more Tolkein). I think the RP community would drool at that. I love the combat of LOTRO, but people seem to spent a surprising amount of time engaging in the non-combat side of things.
Anyway, these thoughts can be considered raw, so I'd appreciate if anyone who could be bothered to read some or even all of that would let me know what you think, and maybe even refine it a bit.