I've been using FC binders for a long time and haven't ever had any problems with the rings, either. And I use my planners hard!
Have you thought about trying to replace the rings? You might be able to find a really cheap binder and switch out the rings.
My binder has 1.25" rings and they're perfect. Not too big; not too small. They're hard to find, though. I usually end up going to the Franklin store, choosing one with removable rings, and having them switch them out for me.
Thanks for sharing. Love the holiday decorations pages.