A couple of weeks ago I had an unusual experience in a Pathfinder game...
The DM started off our gaming session by telling us that he should have been giving us more treasure throughout our adventures and he wanted to "reward" us by having the God of Good Fortune and Winning Lotto Tickets grant us extra treasure to bring us up to what we should have for our levels.
His basis for this was on page 399 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Table 12-4: Character Wealth by Level. After reading through the "rules" for this, it's clear that its a guideline for starting character's that are above 1st level so they have equipment that will give them the best chance of survival against encounters of that level.
Next to Table 12-4 is, not surprisingly, Table 12-5: Treasure Values per Encounter which shows the approximate value of the treasure that a party should get from an encounter based on how fast the party is advancing (i.e. Slow, Medium or Fast).
I understand the need for balance in a game, but it seems to categorize characters in terms of wealth. I always saw character's in a game in sort of their own little bubble in their own little world. Whatever they managed to kill, borrow or steal was theirs to do with as they pleased and if they managed to collect a fortune, then more power to them. If not, they're just not slaughtering enough helpless creatures. If a new character jumps into their world, you made assumptions as to how much carnage that person managed to inflict on the kobold population up to that point.
I don't want to say my DM was wrong for what he did, but he looked forward into the modules he was running and realized we were very ill-equipped to handle what was coming down the pike. I can't really put my finger on what the problem is, but it doesn't "feel" right that a party should have to have a certain level of magic items by a certain level or they're in deep trouble. Granted, a party of 1st level character's aren't gonna stroll into Lolth's boudoir and slap her around without having their collective ass handed to them, but should the difference in surviving a 7th-9th level adventure come down to that extra 10,000 gp worth of equipment?