I had a blast with D3 for the first 3 days getting through content and to level 60. Now that I'm here, it's obvious the game was rushed and they were unprepared for the type of endgame we'd be seeing in softcore.
To quickly wrap up what's going on, at least from my understanding (if any of this is mistaken, please point it out):
The AH is flooded with items from Act 3 and Act 4 Inferno. However, Act 3 and 4 Inferno, and to a lesser extent Act 2, are not realistically survivable (hotfixed skill abuses notwithstanding). The items are coming from people who corpse ran through content to get to an easily farmable purple boss that is next to a waypoint. Once there, they use a ranged class to solo it, then have 3 friends join the game with full MF gear for the killing blow. They repeat this hundreds of times.
This makes the gear from the content that is actually playable (Act 1 and Act 2 to a lesser extent) worth very little. As a result, it is almost impossible to gear up for Act 2 by only replaying Act 1. This is especially concerning for Monks and Barbs, who face a ridiculous gear check when changing acts. The guys above get more valuable gear in 2 minutes then you would see in 2 weeks.
This leaves two choices for people who want to get ahead: join the people above, or be stuck farming Act 1 until they nerf Inferno, at which point it won't matter anymore.
If you don't enjoy the idea of solo'ing a purple boss over and over with your friends jumping in with MF, head on over to hardcore. Very few people are even in inferno, and you'll be able to farm your gear legitimately.