All they need to do is make you able to search and buy items from afar, and it'll become a better system
As long as the searching/buying is tied to in game locations I agree. I would be very ok with a system where upon visiting an NPC in a camp or city, you could then search for an item. If the item was located in another part of the world, you would pay a delivery fee, based on distance in addition to the cost of the item. Maybe even a handling fee if you expect your goods to be delivered to a camp in the middle of nowhere that's surrounded by dragons.
Whether the search works through an AH, or is a search of current retainer listings doesn't matter to me one bit. I actually think the idea of retainers, combined with delivery fees is an interesting concept. It creates an economy where goods are cheap in the place they are foraged for/created from local raw materials, and drives up the prices of getting those goods at a great distance away. Edited, Sep 29th 2010 12:48pm by NayliaMR
Perhaps it's not as convenient as a traditional AH, but I wouldn't be opposed to such a system, really.
My main concern is, if I decide I want a given item, it should take no more than 2-3 minutes to figure out:
1) Is it being sold?
2) How much is it?
3) How many are being sold?
If I decide I want to sell a given item, it should take no more than 2-3 minutes to:
1) Figure out how many are for sale now.
2) Figure out what the ones on sale now are selling for.
3) Actually list my item for sale so that others can see it.
Without regard to "delivery fees" and "taxes" and needing to go get the item from somewhere else and such, if I can do all of that, then I'm a happy panda.