I felt the new Shimano XTR 1 x 11 that had a 450% gear range of 10-45 was a good compromise on paper. Shimano stated that it was essentially for their Pro riders that don't ever use a 50/ 51 climbing gear and it had the advantage of being notably lighter with better ground clearance with a mid-length deraileur. If they could have trimmed it back to around 9-10 gears to create slighty larger gaps between gears that would have been ideal. Alas, they didn't produce the product ultimately when they seemed to fall so far behind on production and trimmed the line back.

I run AXS with a 32T front on 29" wheels in very chunky terrain and I feel that the gaps are a bit too tight on Eagle. 2 gears is too much gap, but 1 gear is just too short.

The market demands lots of gear range and my wife loves her Eagle gear and it definitely assists her on climbs. So you are never going to get mass market fewer gears, but the aftermarket has room.