Am I the only person here, who thinks that merits available only at chargen is a ridiculous idea? Ok, that strongly depends on what specific merits those will be. I understand that this is meant to encourage people spending points on something else tgen min-maxing, but this is a very poor solution to the problem.
I think if someone at my table complained that they can't crap out some experience to become remarkably tall, I'd probably tell them to shut up.
Besides- maximazing merits is no less ridiculous and awkward then maximazing atributes and skills. Take "followers", we can assume that it will work more or less exactly the same. The system encourages people to have 10 000 followers at the start of game. Or a global cult. Or amazing, overpowered familiar. For one thing it forces the scale to bigger levels, it forces players to create special and narratively important people- warlords, merchant princes and cult leaders. Being simply a roaming badass is unedvisble. And then it turns out that it doesn't make mechanical sense, when it turns out your glorious strategist, or cult leader has troubles fighting a blood ape.
Exalted has a tradition of stating that might makes right. That power grants influence and that you can't have anything without the power to hold it. This system creates people with influence without the power to support that indluence. And this is not something I like seeing. It's not how Exalted should work.
Don't create a system with more advantages than there are points to take all the advantages. Got it.
Besides- what about mortal games? How are you going to justify a mortal having a huge army? Or a cult? Or a god-blooded familiar?
He's a warlord. Or a cult leader. Or he has a friend.