I just listened to the latest podcast and then made an account just to post my ideas in a area with what appears to be like minded people.
I see all the problems with items currently and the answer to the problem is not an easy one, in Diablo 2 you could have very tight stat sets on items because of the difficulty involved in item mobility (trading and such) so items needed to be at base at least pretty good or it would degrade the fun in the hunt. With the AH now items do have to carry a wider stat set, that being said I believe 2 Major problems have occurred and 2 minor problems I will address each problem in the way I see it, and the resolutions I feel would work best. Please feel free to add input and criticism.
#1 major problem: Width of stat set, the choice limitations and choice ranges are both to few and to many, the choice range of stats on items limits the ability to line up choice stats for class types or build types and the potential of bricking an item is far exceeds the chance of rolling a usable item. The simple fix and one that would cause more problems would be to tighten the gap and remove limitations. I will address my fix's later on.
2nd Major problem: Homogenization, when blizzard first announced that they would building items "to fit all classes" I knew things would go this route, the mindset of the design team seemed to be one that reflected a change toward build function over item need, but then upon release we found that build function was really all they wanted us to focus on, the items were just for DPS, they were not unique to any build at the start, things are slightly better now and I wont focus to much on this problem because it is one that Blizzard wants to address so I will wait and see how they address it.
Minor problem 1: customization, Items as they are now offer no player customization, both in terms of starting build or alteration. Simple, items are what they are and you have very little to say about it.
2nd problem (and is just a personal thing): wearable level is the bases for crafting mats, not ilevel.... really this is just stupid, an ilev 63 with reqs minus 14 should still salvage them same as an ilev 63 wear lev 60.
OK so we have problems (again just as I see them)
so lets try to fix them
#1: So lets get some stones and start killing birds, First one, add a dummy affix to all ilev 60+ gear so that at minimum one base stat will be on each armor piece, the base stat can then be moded by an affix but regardless you will get at least say 50 of one base stat and maybe more, this opens a door to more balanced set of items.
Second give all items the chance to have a "special" socket, this socket will use augmented gems (gems that are forged into different stats and stat levels using both crafting mats and gems obviously) gems of this type can only go into an item, if another player puts the item on them the gem is destroyed, this takes care of many aspects, it allows you to effectively add or augment stats on items increasing customization, it adds a gold and gem sink, and it adds effectiveness to items that you would brick otherwise.
Third, remove wasted space on items, thorns just get rid of it, instead of having increased life gain from orbs, those numbers should increase based on player factors, Level, para level, gear level, heck you could even add achievements that will increase those numbers. Pick up radius, its more a convenience thing than a customization thing and to me its just a waste or a stat space, something that would be cool on like a charm or even in a gem maybe but as a space on an item... no its not cool, heck if most gold drops are so worthless to most players right now that if my range sucks and the gold does not drop directly in my path then I will walk right past it.
So those are some tweeks I would use for itemization changes. Thoughts, comments, flames, feel free to let me know what you think