I think the issue with honor is its lack of general empire bonuses. Liberty and tradition give production gold and food bonuses in a manner that doesn't require you to make or kill units to benefit from. Military caste is a good example for what honor should have. There should be a swords into plowshares policy, which is like the belief, but perhaps gives you the food bonus while at war. In my game as the ottomans, I went honor, and by the renaissance I had 4 cities, a low pop capital, and production poor surrounding cities. Needless to say I was done for. My bonuses just couldn't keep up with other civs'.