I don't really understand what you're asking. If you feel like it's too easy getting your world back, either delete your save after you die or build your giant temples and whatnot in creative. If you just don't like losing your stuff in lava... Well, that's what chests in your storage room are for.
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The pen is mightier than the sword. I keep the sword for the day I run out of ink.
Note i have almost never died trough structures not being up to enemy attacks, Mine shafts are more dangerous because of poisionous spiders. In caves i light everything up and make sure nothing ever sneaks up on me. I also block every path except the one i am taking.
I think lava is the best. It's plentiful and one bucket melts 64 things. Tree farms on the other hand need constant chopping. I had plenty of tree farms already but i think one bucket of lava is easier. Perhaps more dangerous but not if you take precautions. I had two water pools for example near my lava storage so i couldn't die there. But you are right in the sense that coal is a unlimited resource
I mean make your own mineshafts instead. I like branch mining personally, but whatever works for you.
For the lava, just having it near is a threat. Should be avoided as much as possible instead of used as a fuel source.
Anything preventable, prevent. There are some risks that have to be taken, but there are many that can be avoided.
I think I understand what the OP means. Sometimes if you work on something in general, you can get into a "flow." Everything goes right and you are really in the mood for days or even weeks. But then suddenly you are faced with a misfortune, for example a big mistake you made, and the flow is ended rough. It is a very common psychologic mechanism that many people experience, especially if they make something creative.
Once I tried to wrote something big and could write day after day with full inspiration. But suddenly I saw that it was not going well, that the text wasn't going anywhere. I tried to rewrite it, but I couldn't go further anymore. The flow was gone. But also in Minecraft I experienced that, when I just played Beta. I build and finished some big projects without dying, but suddenly it went wrong. I made a portal with water and lava, visited the Nether, got lost and after hours of trying to find the way back, I fell in lava. The flow was gone and it took a while before I could play again in my world.
Endy - Surely there are many things in the game that are dangerous, but have their uses?
Roberfrans - I think that is what i meant, having the flow disrupted must be what makes me feel that way. I also like to build new things and being stuck with the same structure for a long time might add to the problem. Meanwhile i have tried to play a few times and the feeling has faded a bit