I read somewhere recently where someone was lamenting how many people don't want to deal with PC death and rolling up new PC's. They want to keep the same PC going for s long as possible.
Personally, I think that is a dumb question. Of course people want to have a PC gain high levels, it's part of the game, for one.
Secondly, for a great many people, especially new Players, the PC isn't just a chess piece pawn. The PC is more like an avatar for themselves. They want to see "Themselves" go as far as they can in the game. Fighting monsters, hoarding treasure and playing with fire, magic fire.
I've found through my own experiences and talking with those around me who play the game, that the longer they play and the more familiar they become with the game in general, they become more interested in creating other PC's and the "fear" of getting a PC killed in game tends to be less of an issue.
With my kids learning to DM now, they have been choosing published modules to run.The more they read through modules to select from, the more I hear from them about how lethal so many of the 1st level games are.
First Level is a strange place to be for a PC. It's hard to survive. Just about anything can kill a first level PC. Heck, stand too close to a horse that farts and they can get killed. Try to scale the game down to mini-bites so they can have a better survival rate and they are unhappy because they want some fun and adventure and the mini-bite most surely doesn't offer that.
Open up a full blown game and good luck making it out alive. If the Player is using the PC as an avatar, it's even more of a bummer to have to struggle to survive so soon.
The DM really has to keep in mind who the Players are and how they play the game. Are they more avatar players or have they gotten into playing the variety? Keeping in mind that the whole point of playing the game is for everyone to have fun, you have to tailor your game so that it works out for you and the Players, however they play their PC's.