I'm all for 1 main chat, but to go about making a zillion more (semi useless) channels to have everyone auto placed into upon login seems rather silly. Example /World /WorldAdvice /WorldTrade at what point would we stop having channels added? GLFF basically is all of those channels rolled into 1 plus all the troll banter/soccer talk/whatever people want to discuss. I think the addition of /World channel is a no brainer and technically the game should have launched with one years ago. Every other MMO I've played has had it's own version except LOTRO. I don't think it's a fix for the lack of groups/things to do on a server with limited population, logic tells us that just because we make a chat channel players will not magically materialize out of thin air(pixels?). As for low population servers I can understand players not looking to leave old friends,groups, everything they've known for so long. A cross server IF (that actually worked) would be a much better alternative to server mergers imho, but I don't see either happening any time soon due to the cost involved. I mean sure a large number of us can jump up and down in forums asking for it, but it is (and always has been) in Turbine's hands. As for transferring and the cost involved, if someone has 10 characters on any one server and wants to relocate everything obviously, it's going to cost more then a life time subscription. Interesting when we look at it from that angle, isn't it.
All in all I'd say a lower cost on transfers/a bulk option/a sale anything to make it a little easier for players to continue playing the way they enjoy should be looked into.
After having thought about it, an even better idea would be a brand new area (instanced or not with layering) every single player can map into to group if they chose to do so. Something like this, Anoob enters "Grouping Cluster Map" auto placed into the /World there and can immediately find groups,pugs,new friends to do stuff with. This saves all this hassle of needing transfers,the fear of wasted time/money/transfers,the loss of everything gained on one's Home server,the loss of friends,a unique name on their Home server, etc. Obviously if someone else logs into the "Grouping Cluster Map" with a same name something would have to be attached (ie,Anoob from Brandywhine and Anoob from Elendilmir), since only one name can exist per server it would solve that issue of -1's in the GCM. A further enhancement would be an independent GCM friends list where you can add new friends found there.
Something to think about anyways.Hopefully a dev has a read might even suggest in suggestions for giggles.