I guess unrest is fine as a cosmetic, but when it starts to hamper your game play in a real sense, then it's a pain in the bum and no fun, make's me want to drink rum, save scum, and ring mom.
How does unrest even hamper your game? Build the Onyx Thrones and Bell towers etc and it goes away.
And plus you get very cool looking improvement added to your fortress.
I think it's the way I play. I get everyone cheesed off with me pretty quick. Then they won't do any work, so I kills them.
If you Grab like 20+ cities in five turns, its only normal your unrest will go nuts. Cuz huge gain in short space of time.
And each conquered cities have an period of rebellion before they embrace your rule.
I find the pacing in FE:LH to be pretty very natural. In start, shrines/clerics/belltowers/town halls will be enough for you.
As you start to become an full fledged kingdom/empire, around that time the prisons for fortresses should be coming online.
Building the prisons will let you keep the expansion going on until it starts to become uncomfortable then onyx thrones, 1-2 of them should be unlocked by now. And then, infinite expansion is unlocked as long as you keep onyx thrones coming online at reasonable pace.
I've even found myself skipping prisons and going straight for onyx thrones just to test it out, and it worked well enough.
I only put myself onto consolidation of my current holdings and built up armies. And then when Onyx thrones came online, my soldiers was an unstoppable tsunami.
And I don't even use any of hero unrest reduction tricks at all, they're far more useful commanding armies!
Razing everything is an fair and legitimate option, I did it before!
I felt like watching the world burn
Edit: Also, Populous 3 lol, If I remember right, the cavemen in that game will hump trees or am I wrong?