It all comes down to gaming group preferences, I should say. If yours fancies dungeon crawling, go ahead and have fun crawling into ancient ruins of dangerous secrets! If you’d rather play urban settings, the city-states teem with any kind of adventure ideas - murder mysteries that the templars want to investigate or cover up, the Veiled Alliance trying to thwart the sorcerer-kings’ plans etc. And if you’re into epic adventures, well, the official modules offer this kind of epicness - kill the sorcerer-kings and the dragon of Tyr (among others)! But yea, DS does discourage the usual sort of themes common in other worlds. That was also one of the reasons it stood apart from the rest of the settings.
Actually, gold and silver are the same as in other D&D worlds. If you took an Athasian gold piece, it’d have the same value in the Dalelands or Karameikos (more or less). The thing here is that the standard currency in Athas is the ceramic piece, which is supposedly the equivalent of gold piece, but only to make things easier to translate to. A leatherworker in Baldur’s Gate might earn 2 gp per day; Accordingly, a leatherworker in Raam would earn 2 cp per day. But if you take ceramic pieces outside of Athas, they become useless. Same with Dragonlance: the steel coins are equivalent to gold coins, but they have no value outside of Krynn. What I would say is, treat ceramic pieces as copper, so you could have an easier comparison of economies throughout D&D worlds. Yes, that makes Athas a dirt poor world, with cheap goods, for the common folk. Upper classes would still use silver and gold pieces for their transactions.
About weapons, no such thing was stated; there was instead a rule about certain weapons bearing tiny portions of metal that were easily replaceable, thus keeping their price at minimum. From Revised’s Age of Heroes, pg 54: “Obsidian, bone, and wood weapons are prone to breaking.” Obsidian also meant stone, so the rule encompassed all kinds of weapons. Which is weird, given the wooden weapons made in other worlds never broke (at least, according to core rules).
As for armour, it is stated that types of armour heavier that scale mail must be made with metal components (like chainmail, breastplate, plate etc., Age of Heroes pg 57). That meant half of medium and all heavy would have their price sky-rocketed. I felt it somewhat unfair, given the character types who rely on heavy armour (i.e. fighters) would never get the chance to wear them. There were also descriptions of monsters whose scales, chitins, and bones could be used to fashion armour equivalent to these types. I believe though that these armour types should be rare, due to the creature components being rare themselves, and there’s also the Bulky rule, which makes them highly impractical during daytime.
Thanks for your remarks wellis, I’ll note these down for upcoming updates.