In the age of McMansions it is worth taking stock of what kind of shelter (and even aesthetic) works best on the human scale. Many of us might be happier in smaller houses rather than larger.
While one does not relish the idea of feeling cramped, there can be a sublime cleverness to space and how it is used. Many guests leave a house happy when inspired by great organization, as opposed to oppressed when surrounded by a deadness of unloved rooms and expanses of blank walls.
It is a satisfying parallel challenge to ask oneself what is the minimum needed to meet the requirements of living in a satisfying way, which should be different for everyone. By paring down possessions to the "need it or love it" categories, we drastically reduce our "need" for needless space.
This is not to imply in any way that one should sacrifice quality, beauty or truly important space. And it is also not to say that large is never good. The Stately Homes of Britain have their own cache. However, one might find the Vicarage next door having more appeal.
Finally, nothing can compare to the feeling of space given by nature. Therefore, one might easily conclude, despite the current philosophy, that "Large piece of land and small house" handily beats "Large house and small piece of land".