This is curious and it would be interesting to know if this is different whether it is a PvP/Siege, PvE,, or 'Other' server.
I'm playing on Sarenus (PvE) and it is 250x125. There are about 10 or so regulars (that I know of) that are working mostly Iron/Steel and the general consensus is that there is too few iron nodes. Me personally, I find on average it takes about 3 hours to get enough iron ore to fill the Large Bloomery - that is doing nothing else but mining iron - skipping all other nodes and even Godsends (which I don't like to do as they are the only source of Salt/Pepper/Cinnamon). I have managed to get enough (that's 380 ore btw) in just 2 hours of nothing but traveling the map and mining ore - but have also see it take 4 hours - and this with Mining 40 and using a 135% Iron Pick - I'd say averaging 22 Iron Ore / Node and ranging from 13-27.
So it's not like there is a lack of effort on my part, or commitment of time...the ore just isn't there. I've heard rumor there are only about 60 Iron Nodes with a 30 minute regeneration time. On a map with 31,250 sectors - that's only 1 for every 520 sectors - and a lot of space to cover as well. Now while I agree Iron should be a little more difficult hence valuable - there is no fun when it can take a couple hours to find enough iron ore to make a a couple buildings - and that doesn't account for the other materials that might be needed nor the waste inherent in leveling where you are going to need thousands of iron ore.
Point: Effort yields rewards - and with everything else it is easy if tedious to acquire - but Iron stands out as the absolute worse. Trees, rocks, limestone, copper, even hides are in abundance if you put an effort into hunting - the resources are there and don't take hours to find.
So I'm not asking for an Easy Button - but I do agree that some serious consideration of Iron placement, number of nodes, and regeneration needs to be looked into.