One thing that I find extremely worrying in this thread is the attitude that level 1 is something that should be skipped where possible, either by playing evergreens or applying GM credits.
I personally think that this is a very dangerous attitude - especially towards new players who do not have the ability to apply GM credits or similar. Without the more experienced players (and the people who are GMing on the other side of the screen) experiencing play at level 1 - especially with the recent scenarios can give GMs inaccurate readings of the table's capabilities at best, and can dissuade new players from sticking around at worst.
Unlimited GM credits will make this worse.
[...]But so many characters just SUCK at level 1 that I don't want to play them there. I figure that level 1 is a combination of bad game design and making new players pay their dues. I've paid my dues :-)
So new players should 'pay their dues' due to some 'bad game design'?
Maybe we should instead look at changing the XP system: maybe allow players to get "triple credit" for playing a scenario with a new character at level 1 - allow characters to level to two after their first scenario?