Currently the network congestion has made ETH1 L1 pretty much unusable outside of financial applications (manipulating large amount of money).
L2 and ETH2 are good answers to that, but in the meantime the risk is to kill the Ethereum ecosystem of non financial applications and see projects moving to other chains trading decentralization for higher throughput.
From my understanding the main bottleneck around increasing gas limit is storage capacity (state rent could change that but it’s another topic).
The cost for SSD (I’m not looking at HDD as they are impractical anyways) has significantly been reduced since Ethereum launch: 900$ per tera in 2015-08 to 117$ today.
However, the gas limit has only increased from 3M in 2015-08 to 12M today.
A 4X increase of gas limit while we had a 8X decrease in SDD cost.
Gas limit has increased, but only at a rate of half the SDD progress.
Now even if increasing the gas limit would result in a requirement of higher-end hardware, I would expect those inconvenience be pretty low compared to the issue of gas cost. A 117$ SSD can store more than 2 times the current weight of an Open Ethereum full node while a complex TX now costs far more than that.
And not every user needs a full-node, but at current gas price almost all users wanting to continue using Ethereum would need to pay far more in gas.
So the questions are:
- Would doubling the gas limit right now lead to any serious issues?
- Would doubling the gas limit lead to serious issues which would not have happened if the gas limit and SSD capacity would not have changed since 2015-08?
- Would those issues be worth the benefit of extra gas (I suggest reading this article on resource pricing)?
(Note that this post may appear one-sided and asking rhetorical questions. Those are not and there may be adverse consequences I am not aware off.)