I think Fertility is fine. It's strong, for all the reasons you state, and I take it quite often when I get river-poor starts. But it offers nothing but food, growth, and faith. There's no culture, gold, or science to sweeten the pot and nothing to help handle population growth. It also requires aggressive expansion to have a chance to found without offering any yields that might help alleviate expansion pains. Now top that off with the requirement to prioritize Shrines and Wells, two buildings that also don't offer culture, gold, or science and it demands a lot of short term sacrifice for it's long term power.