I'm sorry, this is not bowling against my girlfriend, I can't just throw gutterballs in an attempt to help the other side.
I agree however that without the Llov pocket, this is a more interesting game. The problem is, that this game has been balanced with the Llov pocket being used- so if you take it away, the balance shifts dramatically to the Russian. So, if you take it away, you have to give the Germans something, to even it out- but what would that be?
Depends, pretty sure as usual with such large, long games, people play for many reasons.
What balanced is... in part a subjective matter. It depends on whether you believe that what currently is the average outcome with two comparable opponents in a typical AAR (or against AI if difficulty settings appropriate for your skill) is what should have been equally achievable by the Germans. Since anything is hard to proof if it comes to arguing about alternative courses history may have taken, it to some degree is personal opinion.
For my feel, the Germans presently have to easy a time. Maybe it is logistics, maybe also a bit underestimated Soviet strength, maybe it could simply be the I-Go-U-Go that arguably gives the phasing player more options, more freedom than the defending one.
I never thought Lvov should be impossible, but the Soviet ought to be able to react to it and have a reasonable chance to delay it for a turn or sometimes even to put up effective resistance. Don't take it away, it is neat and could perhaps have been attempted in reality. But as the hard fighting for AGS showed historically, I believe it would probably also have run into trouble, even though it could have succeeded to prevent the hard-contested, rather costly crawl for AGS or the need for assistance from AGC.
If you look at it primarily as a game that should offer reasonably fair chances for both sides, the balance seems to be fairly in the middle-ground. If you reference it to history instead and assume that that one ought to be somewhere near the average course, the balance is a bit towards the Axis side with Moscow and Leningrad falling quite regularly. My thinking is that the typical advances for Axis are a bit too successful, so I wouldn't take anything away that is of concern prior to blizzard. My gripe is rather with the severe impact of blizzard on CVs -- the swinging of the initiative to enable the Soviet blizzard offensives should either come naturally from a reduction of the supply rates, plus the fact that the Germans need to be truly exhausted and somewhat depleted as they were -- or not. But also all that is of course just a matter of personal opinion.
Anyway, it plays very well now, and until WitE2 there will hopefully be some changes to the logistics and I-Go-U-Go that take WitE a level further.