The shard scaling is something we're looking at more closely. Assuming the levels grow during the time it takes people to farm a lot of stones, things should still stay in balance for the most part. At any rate, we are prepping some sort of increasing shard turn in cost for the stones at the moment. For example, it'll cost 300 shards to turn in for your 10th stone, and 500 to turn in your 20th stone, and so forth.
As for the cheaters, a few may have been reverted back to unbanned status due to the crash, but shouldn't be that many since I went through and rebanned most of them. If you see them, please feel free to report them again through PM's to me or any other admins, and we'll sort them out again.