The emphasis on character development and facets is part of the Incarna focus on the minutiae involved in the Gritty Realism that Incarna play is focussed on. The approach to emphasis is on story, intrigue, and then combat using tactics and knowledge.
Ideally, Incarna emphasizes character capability over flashy powerful items. Such items exist, but an item can be stolen, broken, or destroyed. Capabilities travel with the character no matter the situation that in. The extra level of detail that might normally be associated with many magical items is shifted to additional powers centered on the character themselves. This is why Incarna offers so much in the way of customization options, especially with Advanced Concepts and Mechanics. It’s a shifting the emphasis, though adopting both is possible as well.
As with any approach, ask the game group if one approach or another is preferred. If the thrill of powerful items outweighs multiple character tweaks to accomplish nearly the same, perhaps have the Game Master reward less CP and more monetary or item rewards.