Even being an RPG veteran I find Etrian Odyssey on classic a little too frustrating so when I played IV I used the easier mode and it provided some challenge from time to time. I think the line here is the amount of difficuly vs the frustration and time lost. In Demon's Souls for example, even being hard and frustrating, you get to keep some things you've managed to get, in EO the best thing you keep is a map. Better than nothing but for me it's still not enough.
I surely don't want RPGs to just send you back at the exact same spot (like XIII). XIII already healed you after every battle so that was a little too much, but a nice balance like in Dragon Quest or Ni no Kuni, for example, you chose weather you keep your XP or your money.
In EOIV I just preferred the option given in the casual mode when you die, I just wish it had the normal mode difficulty. Also a little sad is the fact that when you die in casual you get sent back to town with full life, so what happened in the end dying became a legitimate strategy for saving money, since it's cheaper than paying for heal.