This may have come up before, but one thing that’s a little unnatural about the PC progression is the way that the domain game starts at 9th level, at which point people notice your characters awesomeness and come join you. I think it would be awesome to have that structure evolve more organically, and scale with level, as even a 5th level character is pretty awesome, compared to those around him.
Are there systems out there for expanding the henchman idea into something more like an entourage of low level followers that can scale with level? Maybe its possible to tweak the henchman limit to 3x(level-1) HD of followers, for example, to give characters the ability to lead small armies of loyal followers even at low level. Obviously, this is more Assn idea than a mechanic at this point, but consider that a band of brigands consists of on average about 25 men (up to 80!) led by a 4th level fighter and 2 2nd level fighters. How can I get a force like that?