a clearly-stated number or a skill system you can never truly overcome. The first option is to see it as a target, the point where you get out of the training areas and the real game can start. The other option is that it's just a number past which you can't progress. Hitting it is no different than, say, finding every last fish for a drawn-out questline -- a completion and an achievement, but not hugely noteworthy.
In games with an older design aesthetic, such as EverQuest and Final Fantasy XI, the game's community progressed much more slowly to max level if they ever reached it at all. More modern games such as World of Warcraft or Champions Online, on the other hand, essentially have the leveling game as a road designed to lead you up to the level cap, with most of the game's options becoming available then. What about you? Do you prefer to stay in the lower levels of a game, or do you head right for the endgame with abandon?