The idea behind path imbalance is that as you are using the same equipment and path so the losses should be same in UL as well as DL(a little lesser in DL as you said earlier). If there is a difference between these two path losses then it clearly points out that you have some hardware issues. High UL Path loss-Rx side hw issue. High DL Path loss-Tx side hw issue.
As for your question even if RXLEVEL_UL is above threshold( Receiver sensitivity) then also there is a virtual shrinkage in cell coverage due to link imbalance. This means far away calls(with lesser UL and DL powers) are deprived of good quality.