TL;DRBurner miners and burner inserters are the only items that don't scale into the lategame. Could they be removed?
What ?The beginning of the game is rather tedious with having to run to get coal, feed iron/copper/stone burner drills and furnaces with coal, collect resources from furnaces, rinse and repeat. Eventually you get to a point where you can afford steam engines + enough belts to start electric mining - and now your burner equipment is more than useless (it takes up valuable inventory space).
Furthermore, there is no use for it at any further point in the game. Even the lowly small power pole has its uses in the lategame, but literally all you want to do with your burner equipment is stuff it in a chest and shoot it
My proposal is: remove the burner phase of the game. Start people off with a pump, a boiler, two steam engines, two mining drills and 20 power poles, or something like that. It speeds up the beginning of the game by like 30-60minutes, where this period otherwise just feels like performing a rote task rather than the more immersive gameplay that requires planning ahead for the later factory and for avoiding too much pollution. Indeed my brother and I got so tired of doing the initial phase of the game that we always play with a quick start mod that basically does exactly this, just with more of each item and a decent amount of belts.
As an alternative suggestion, introduce some midgame+ items that require burner equipment. For example, some sort of hybrid mining drill with a faster mine speed but requires electrics + fuel to run, or introduce a burner drill into the recipe for oil refineries, etc.