Epic conversations, indeed. Going more or less like this:
Gogo [ Dark ] Shoppahollic enters server
Gogo [ Dark ] Shoppahollic Hi everyone. Is Bravemart open?
Knuckles [ Dark ] Lorath's Slasher Just opened it up. Am there now
Gogo [ Dark ] Shoppahollic Cool. OMW!
4 hours later:
DreD Flamer enters the server
Dred Flamer has anyone seen Gogo?
Knuckles [ Dark ] Lorath's Slasher Try Bravemart. That's where I left him 3 hours ago.
Gogo [ Dark] Shoppahollic I'm at Bravemart, Dred.
Dred Flamer I've got you a trading ammy, giving +35 to bargaining.
Gogo [ Dark ] Shoppahollic Cool! When I replace my +15 to trading Amy, my bargaining skill gets to 275. Going for some epic shopping!
JimmyP Forger Want me to socket that Amy, Gogo. I can add some bargaining runes into your gear as well.
Gogo [ Dark ] Shoppahollic Yes, please, Jimmy. You're on the Island?
Yup, epic conversations indeed.
BTW: the name of the town was Braverock.
Bravewall was a small village to the east of the town, when you were heading towards Zhurag-Nar.
As for the location: yes, I think it was done intentional; however, I also think the Dev's had underestimated the effect of it.
With Sacred+ you had a few chars able to do some shopping, but the good items were part of a set and not that easy to come by. If not mistaken the Wood Elf and the BM had some set-parts giving a boost to shopping.
Even when it was revealed that you could set your starting skills by adjusting the options, and thus bargaining became available as starting skill for more chars, shopping for good items was time consuming.
When the Dwarf appeared in Underworld, things changed. The combination of Blacksmithing, bargaining and the Greed-CA made shopping for good items a lot easier.
Another thing having influence were the number of players in a server, thus several players having multiple accounts - and computers! - entered a server, parked their char at the starters Island and went shopping.
So the Dev's added the command that you had to move your char after some time to be avoided to be kicked off of the server, making shopping a bit harder, but still managable; as long as you kept half an eye at the chat-screen to see that "movement warning" showing up.