In the context of RPGs, balance is usually referring to combat abilities or the ability to affect the game world. When they designed GURPS, they weren't concerned with balance in that sense. The cost of skills are based on how difficult they are to learn not how useful they are in a particular game. The only balance to the points is to have a baseline for the players. i.e. You all have 50 points to spend on your characters. Hopefully the GM and the players all understand what the campaign is all about so nobody buys any skills that won't be used.Yet they gave the different features point costs. If those are not meant to balance anything, why give them different costs?
Why would the player choose a skill the PC doesn't need? If I'm playing a hard boiled 1970s era cop, I'm not going to take Physician as a skill because it's not going to be all that useful.I found that the design parameter that makes difficult skills cost more - while realistic - will hurt a PC in a game that doesn't require these skills.
Admittedly that's where I am. I just don't want to mess with it.Definitely a book that was interesting to flip through and realize I had long passed the limit of crunch I cared for in an RPG system.