I've always liked D&D character sheets, leveling up and changing/fixing my stats was always a lot of fun. I know it really all comes down to preference, but is that something you are willing/wanting to do if the forum game you are playing on is one you are interested?
For example, I'm working on a dinosaur breeding sim. Some things are already for you, such as buying items, breeding outcomes, and exploring to find dinosaurs. But once you find and capture them, you'll need to manually put them in your "farm area" and fill out their stat sheet with several different tabs of information.
Is that too much work? Would you rather play a game where it automatically does that for you? Or would you not mind playing it on an interactive proboards forum, even if you had to fill in all that information yourself?
I'm kind of an old hat so I'll convey what I know and have seen.
The forum I currently run puts everything on player initiative. When you level up or accomplish things that give you more stat points it is your responsibility to distribute those stat points. Aside from enforcing rules like not allowing players to go over level caps, I'll only offer advice regarding what they should do with their stats.
Players like to have control over their characters. They also like to have everything handed to them in an easy to use format. That's just humans, there's nothing wrong with that.
From what you say, some of the things you have going on are automatic, like buying items, breeding outcomes, and exploring to find the dinosaurs. That's good. I don't think asking the players to manually manage their own farm area or stat sheet is too much work. At least that way they can make it very clear what their intentions are with those stats and such.
For my site, most of the things a player does to manage their characters or land is manual.