Am I the only one that likes the Wheel? I think it's great to have another choice to place your followers when you can't place one on the tile you just laid. I also like the large starting tile, yet it separates farmers from controlling the entire board. Without the Wheel, it's basically the same as the base game.
I'd actually advise people who are new to the game to by the Wheel instead of the regular base set for the obvious reason that you get a base set and a little extra. And there are even several ways to use the wheel. Use it as a starting tile as you mentioned it ... or for those who don't like to have all things spread rapidly, just put the wheel next to the playing area. I only see advantages in this set