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Just throwing in my $0.02, and I actually respect and prefer you leave out the perma-progression UNLESS there is a way to balance things with every new boon to make the player's life just a little easier, there would also be a bane that would hopefully balance things out.

Thanks a lot for your input. I wonder how would you feel about allowing permaprogression in one game mode, but also having a 'hardcore' game mode with no saved games, which would be flagged as such in the highscore list to demonstrate the achievement? Would the absence of the 'hardcore' flag in the highscores be enough of a 'bane'?