Well, this thread got derailed fast lol.
Anyway, I agree with everyone else, an AH is the way to go. However they've made it REALLY hard for themselves if they go a typical FFXI type AH with all the colors and +1/2/3 options. It'd be like:
Generic Armor +1
Generic Armor +2
Generic Armor +3
Generic Armor (Grey)
Generic Armor (Grey)+1
For each different type of item with HQ/Color modifiers. Heck I'd like to see what kind of a search system they're going to come up with, if it'll give us the flexibility to search for modified versions of the item or just the standard NQ (and we have to put in the legwork to find the right color/etc).
Filters could do that easily, I suppose. It's been done in worse games (generic f2p) which had even more variables than leve, name, colour and +stats.
I don't see a successful way of improving Wards unless they actually restrict putting items on your retainer that are not supposed to be in the specific Wards. Trying to put a retainer with Moko Grass in Battlecraft Ward? --> "Sorry,not possible"
Wish they'd just purge the Wards idea completely like it never existed and give us a fast and easy access AH system.
As it is, no matter how many searches they give us - there's always going to be jerks that put wrong stuff in wrong wards....