mf and gf are both somewhat lackluster in this game until you severely outgear the content you're doing.
You have to account for travel time and kill time, associate it with the drop rate of rares - should be about proportional to kill rate.
Even with just that, dps is worth more - because, say, 10% more DPS will let you kill maybe 5% more mobs (travel time remember). BUT, DPS and survivability modifiers do significantly more for your kill rate than MF does for your rate of magic find. The worst DPS affixes cap at around 25%, the best MF affixes cap at around 15%.
Now consider that different sources of mf are probably additive, and multiple DPS effects multiply (adding to similar effects). With 5 stack valor, you're running around at 175% magic find. Add 10% to that, you're at 185%. 185% / 175% => that 10% MF affix only gained you 6% multiplicative.
But if a 15% IAS mod boosts your kill speed by 8%, it's stronger.
If a 200 armor mod lets you tank for 5 seconds longer,
much better to stack those. Until the content is trivial and you're just mowing things down anyway. At that point move on to the next act.
MF seems to be tuned so that you won't really need "2 sets" as it were. Once you're farming Diablo you'll slowly replace your survivability gear with MF gear.
Gold = guaranteed progress. (unless inflation outpaces your gold collection rate -- current state of the game seems to be deflation for most items).
Generally just playing will generate you enough money to continue, but if you stall out maybe at act 1-2 inferno making a full gold find + run speed kit can help fill a gap.
So you can Gold find until you have the gold to buy the gear you need to do the content you want.... Maybe that content drops what you really want as well -- or a chance of valuable loot, so you slowly acquire mf in your inferno/survival gear. I don't think mf runs are worth it outside of inferno and even there is seems act III and on is where the true endgame gear drops. The other inferno acts can drop some nice stuff, but can't roll max/final tier values.
As a data point,
I can average about 200k-250k gold an hour doing mindless gold find runs in nightmare (base 188% GF). The rares that drop at this level are mostly vendor fodder, but i'll toss anything with with 3-4 good stats on the auction house for ~20-25k giving a little extra boost.
The gear sacrifice (bought the cheapest GF+radius gear i could find) to reach that GF level made hell too slow/unplayable. But nightmare i just take movement skills/passives and one shot with an aoe skill.
This totally depends on when you plan to play through late Hell and Inferno since the rest of the game is a relative cakewalk in comparison. I'll try to keep this short and to the point:
* < 2 % players in Inferno, therefore itemlevel 60+ gear is VERY expensive from the high demand and VERY low supply
* Later, many more players will be in Inferno. This will increase supply and drive prices down.
Here's what I do: Wear gear that's strictly for whipping ***, but have a set of gear in you inventory ready to swap in before the killing blow on champions. Using this trick with 5 stacks of NV, it's relatively easy to go over 150 or even 200 MF while still farming the hardest content you can manage.
Later on though, you'll probably want the best gold find gear you can get, and you'd want to farm the highest content you can one-shot since it's all about speed vs quality since anything can drop gold in the game, unlike how magic find works.
Nephalem Valor adds 15% GF/MF per stack. You can build stacks from any champion pack as long as you're level 60. Respeccing, leaving the act, or leaving the game drops all stacks. So, stack NV with your pimp gear first, then switch to the "get money" gear!
There is actually a pretty simple answer to this:
- Gold find up through act 1 Inferno.
- Magic Find after that, with act 2 Inferno being a grey area.
The very best items only drop in the later parts of Inferno and they sell for insane amounts. I regularly find items that sell for 0.5 - 1.5 million on act 3 Inferno runs. This price is easily five times as high as the prices for anything you find at the end of hell or start of Inferno. However, the increase in gold drops is much smaller, maybe doubling at most.