I'm kind of glad that player development takes a while. I remember in an older version of the game I had maxed out all my characters stats halfway through the first tour season, and won almost every tournament very easily after the first few events. I never bothered playing a second season because there was no challenge.
There will always be crazy-good players online, probably college students or the unemployed who play video games all day, every day. (Most people think this is unhealthy, yet don't really blink when they find out the average person watches 4+ hours of TV a day, go figure.) I fancy myself a pretty decent kart player, but I get dusted by players that have seemingly made it there life's mission to kick ass at Kart. Seriously, I'm pretty good, but I know I'd get absolutely killed in a world wide MK or SSB tournament.
Courses you could unlock (for free) after a lot of playtime or significant achievements, you can buy a code to unlock on the PS3 version? Weird. I know I personally would never pay for that content...but, hey, if people are willing to I don't see the problem. As long the box promoting 27 courses has some kind of disclaimer: "Not all courses available initially. Player can unlock courses with X hours of playtime or purchase an unlock code from EA.com" or something like that.
Seems like people always complain about this sort of thing by arguing "They are making me pay for courses that already ship with the disc!!!!". Well, no, they aren't "making" anyone pay for anything. Capitalism at its finest, I guess. :shrug:
And if you think there should be an unlock code to open up all the courses for free...you can kind of get caught in a slippery slope argument there. Should Metroid have an unlock code that lets you to fight the final boss without playing the rest of the game? (Maybe it does, I don't know.) If there is no code, are you getting "ripped off"?
Personally, I like having the option to unlock courses with a (free) code, but I'm not going to cry foul if it doesn't exist.