Balance isn't the point of an RTS, strategy is the point. Balance makes games too predictable I think. If Rome was 'balanced' with the rest of the world, it would've sucked sh*t. The whole world would be a mess of completely balanced clans duelling endlessly. I think that's rather stupid....
IRL, the Romans had the greatest power and militaristic force, but their government was viciously corrupt. It's why they lost to the hands of Germanic barbarians (coupled with the fact that they became too complacent in their power). So, at that period in time, were they "balanced"? I guess you can say so.
Lets just say all the tech trees HAVE to be fairly balanced or it wont be fun because a certain faction will always win.
Yes, the whole point of balancing is to allow any one faction to beat any other faction on any given map. That's what I hate about many games out there, that not many people understand the concept of "balance," so often times one thing beats everything else - and that's not fun!
You guys had said that there's no strategy to a balanced game, but there is. The whole point is to become victorious with what's given to you, something that is differently equivalent to your opponent. All of the strategy is based off of the fact that you're equal, and that you could fight forever. That's what makes it so interesting.
Killing Goliath with David != "strategy."