So what we may also need, in conjunction with this mod, is another one that dials down the spell costs OR dials up the Destruction damage. I'd be fine with that - honestly, the inability to play as a pure mage is pretty obvious from the start of the game (the Stormcloaks in Helgen Keep in the big room with the stream in it is best for this...), and is one of the reasons I've never seriously tried it.
I know there are myriad mods out there that screw with magic to one degree or another - maybe it's time to find one that's limited enough to make Magery possible without being far too overpowered. Based on the last few comments, I'm borderline ready to call this a 'bug' or oversight by Bethesda, which would make such a mod's inclusion Core material. But that's for another discussion.