Frankly, I think that balance would be such a razor's edge as to be unrealistic to try and achieve. Especially if these bonuses carry over between different play sessions. If bonuses carry over, eventually safe players will max theirs, while risk takers will be living in a constant state of starting over.
And the good players will be surviving well and building a survival bonus on higher difficulties. Of course some people will want to play it safe, but it will just hurt them in the long run.
The main deterrent for dying isn't gold, it's time. Dying against a boss means having to start the fight over from scratch. Dying against an elite means having to run up to an entire map to get back to what you were doing. Dying too many times means wasting time going back to town to repair. On top of which, dying is a hit to a player's ego, even when playing solo. I just don't think there's any real need to further incentivize staying alive.
Right now, that time spent is nothing compared to the increased clear time for running glass cannon builds, so it negates any perceived time penalty. And nobody farms bosses in D3.
And it doesn't hurt a player's ego. I ran MP8 VotA with a 260k DPS WW Barb who cleared whites very fast, then died about 6 times on a single champion fight. I tanked them and eventually killed them pretty much by myself. He then continued to insult me and brag that he might die a lot but at least he has 260k DPS.
I don't think a reward/punishment system would lead to this changing, though. At least not on the scale they want. I think it would just lead to players continuing to play glass cannons on lower MP levels. I don't think most people play glass cannons because the rewards are greater, I think they play them just because they find that playstyle more fun. Death penalties/survival rewards may lead some players to switching to tankier builds, but I don't think it's the best method to achieve this.
I would have to kindly disagree. I have plenty of friends who play glass cannon builds and say they wish there was some kind of incentive in D3 to play more sustainably. The only way in D3 to have a high mp player with good kill speed and survivablitiy is to spend 100s of millions to billions of gold in the AH.
If you gear glass cannon, you can run high mps for more item drops and faster xp gain. If you run with more survivability, you have a lower rate of item drops and xp gain. That's what I am trying to address. To say the issue is something other than an unbalanced reward system seems highly unlikely.
So, if you believe a survival bonus is not a good incentive to add variety in the glass cannon dps culture, what do you think is a good solution?