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I prefer it the way it is. You can buy baseplates separately if you want them, and re-use them for different sets. Baseplates are not the sort of thing that are hard to find in a collection.
As to the thick plates, I understand what you mean. They could replace them with baseplates. But they are good for people that do custom builds. I think someone on the other thread mentioned cost of baseplates vs regular plates, and the regular ones are cheaper to produce.