UPDATE: Must-read: Honour McMillan's blog post "The Serpent in the Second Life Paradise". Must-watch: the first show of the new season of Designing Worlds, viewable on the Prim Perfect blog. Perhaps this is one reason newcomers to SL don't stay:
Imagine newbies being taken by the hand and given skins/hair/clothing by a “nice” older resident. Imagine that they are then informed they “owe” this person and have to work it off. Sound familiar? Immigrants being forced to work off a “debt” is not just a real world problem.