Is this really that big of a deal? I get that some people dig the local scene, and that's great, but if a band is big enough (or thinks they're big enough) then why not skip to the big leagues? It's not like anyone is obligated to play local shows and with new technology, people don't have to build a buzz in their hometowns to gain a following. Seems shortsighted.
It's kind of like the farm system in baseball, in that very few maybe talented or lucky enough to jump right into the national scene, but the vast majority are going to rise up through the local scene and make a name for themselves. That can be thrilling for the local fans to watch. It's more fun to watch a band play small clubs from the beginning than it is to catch them at HOB for the first time.