Yup that's true, I think the way science and culture are at the moment it'll always be best to grab as much as you can early. You could be up against an opponent who could get much more out of Pingala than you could so it'll still be important to fight for the edge. Some AIs do tend to get huge cities early on. Pingala will make it easier to start off but you'll still need to get a good sized city and some time to get the 2 promotions. I would like to see him have some sort of condition attached to these bonuses though.