This is spot on! Been finding this myself and, as a part of server with only Content Creators, we're all very interested in the cooperation aspect of the game, only to find that the game doesn't lend itself to that as much as we'd hope...
One thing would be to fix the cart/collision bugs, which would allow easier movement of materials, hence empowering stores/trades. That is a BIG limitation right now. The collision bugs are annoying (i.e. player to wall/ground/etc) but the cart bugs are actually very limiting to trade and effective movement of resources. I would suggest rails+rail carts: much more effective mining/distribution solution.
Second thing, and I have mentioned this in another post, is the ability to send work orders to a player even if they are offline. This requires the currency system to be fully implemented: RFP sent, offer received, work order submitted.
Along with the work order and train/rail system, I think that skill books shouldn't be transferable. This promotes cross-pollination of skill trees, which diminishes the value of "working for them" and selling your services (vs your skills).
I'm going "long" on this game. There's a lot of potential and the developers seem to be eager and willing to work with the feedback they have received. Fingers crossed for a speed up in the development (especially bug fixing)... ;) I do believe that this game is being marketed as a "multiplayer experience" and I think that is its strength. Trying to cater for "small servers" (3-4 players) or "single-player" should be dismissed and all efforts should be placed on that multi-player aspect that had us all excited about this game (vs all the other crafting/survival/building games out there). ;)