I am thinking of comparing the possibilities for immortality for high-level wizards. The most well-known solution is lichdom (if they are evil).
As we know, no cleric or wizard spell can resurrect people that died of old age, not even a wish. There is a single exception: the level 4 druid spell reincarnate(*).
A level 17 wizard can very likely get access to a level 4 druid spell (most simply, he can buy it as a magic item).
He doesn't need to be evil. There are no alignment restrictions.
Well, maybe it isn't really comfortable to re-awaken as, for example, a lizardman, but it is still much better than being a rotting corpse. Yes, she can polymorph herself in both cases easily, but being alive, she can enjoy life.
Well, maybe there are ideological problems from the side of the druids, but... 1) they don't need to intentionally cooperate 2) knowing that there are LN, CN, NE, NG and Neutral druids, at least one of them could have the compatible ideology to help the wizard.
As I see it, I simply can't find any reason why lichdom would be a better choice for a level 17 wizard.
Maybe the phylactery... but with careful usage of the magic jar spell (without the phylactery), she could get approximately the same effect as the lich does from its phylactery.
What are the objective benefits, both in-game and out-of-game, of lichdom over reincarnation for level 17 evil wizards?
Maybe the reincarnate spell was simply overbalanced?
(*) Also reincarnate needs a little bit of trickery because the spell description also says it can't bring back somebody who died of old age. But by committing suicide just before a reincarnate, it may be possible to restart in a new, young adult body.