Perhaps Rust should take a little inspiration from DayZ…
In DayZ you spawn in a random location on the coast, it is a huge map and you’re unlikely to see someone as soon as you spawn. You can usually get some basic gear and head up the map into the more densely populated area.
Now Rust has a huge map that is barely used. The difference between DayZ and Rust is that your player and your loot (theoretically) is always online in the form of your base or shack and can (again theoretically) always be looted. Now unless logging off with all your gear is going to be part of the game, resource areas should be more common to encourage bases being built further apart. (You don’t find all the high military gear within 10 minutes walk on DayZ do you?). Then they should obviously reduce the inventory size to avoid people logging with their gear.
Currently the small amount of resource abundant areas is slightly annoying and is leading to a lot of houses being built quite close to each other. However as more people begin to play Rust and the amount of people building increases this could become quite a big issue with resource areas being constantly camped and bases being raided as soon as their owner goes offline.
Here are some prototype drawings I just made in paint, these are more suited to a large player count.
Obviously this can be adapted for various player counts simply by making the amount of spawn areas smaller but I believe currently the areas that people can live in are too small for our current player count.