Our group loves having encounters. We introduced several house rules so we'd have the opportunity to get a wide variety of encounters each game.
We changed the Admin Bldg and the Magick Shoppe so you can draw three cards instead of two. It brings them more in line with the Curiositie Shoppe and the General Store.
We changed River Docks so you spend 3 toughness of trophies to receive $4. The thinking is that anyone with 5 toughness of trophies will always go to the Science Bldg. But if you only have 3 toughness of trophies, you might not anticipate getting two more. In that case, the River Docks becomes a reasonable option.
We gave Velma's Diner a special ability where you can spend $2 to gain 1 Stamina or 1 Sanity. You can do this up to 3 times per turn (i.e., spend up to $6 to recover 3 Sta or San, split however you like). Often, people need both San and Stamina, so the Diner occasionally serves a purpose. To balance it out, it works less efficiently than either the Hospital or the Asylum (where $2 restores you to full).
We also have people draw an encounter card and use a location's special ability. However, when an encounter is redundant with the special ability (for example, a sale takes place at the Curiositie Shop), the player must choose between having the encounter and using the special ability. Also, you can't use the special ability if you get delayed, or if the encounter says that the location is temporarily closed (e.g., the Shop is closed, or Sherriff Engle is not at the Police Station). Just for fun, we also said that you cannot become Deputy if the encounter implies that Sherriff Engle doesn't trust you. You have to wait and draw again next turn. Also, some encounters move you to the street, which means you can't use the special ability.
Each Other World has only one area. During the Encounters Phase, you must survive three encounters in a row with no Upkeep Phase between them. You are at -1 to all skill checks while in another world. Also, you can have at most one green encounter per turn.
Having the extra encounters does slow things down a little, but it doesn't make the game any easier. And like I said, a good encounter is lots of fun.