I really do like the idea of npcs selling gathered materials/drops and having player buy backs. I don't think finished gear/consumables should be done that way, though - just drops and gathered things. That way when someone npcs their black pepper, it doesn't go into a black hole - leaving cooks with no frigging way of getting it other than paying 3K plus - it goes into a repository.
The fewer items of the sort the npc has - the more it should pay players for the item and the more that item should cost from the npc. That gives players an incentive to put rare items into the system, and as the supply rises the price of that item could fall.
Either that or SE needs to give us significantly more bazaar spots/AH spots because I can tell you as someone leveling cooking I am losing money like crazy when I make any item that is not grilled fish or maple sugar. Making apple pies because I needed to buy several mats from an npc (eggs, cinnamon, natron [I could make natron but try finding effervescent water] etc.) costs between 2-3K per pie. Even though everyone [BUT ME apparently] is drowning in money no one is interested in buying food at all, let alone for 3K for a pie.
The biggest reason for this is most interesting dishes (and post 23 - like everything I can think of making besides sand to level up) require a host of bizaare and rare ingredients which no one bothers to bazaar (or if they do the other cooks got to them first cause I never see them). When you have only 10 slots as if you are going to waste a bazaar spot on black pepper or garlean garlic. Cause unless you are a cook you don't realize that those two items are vital to making like half of the recipes.
Then you wouldn't know what to sell them for. Either of those items would sell to me instantly for 1K-1.5K. But I have never seen either of those things in a bazaar.
Another thing is bait. I would happily pay 200-400 gil each for rat tails, midge baskets or sryphid baskets - but again, they are hard as **** to find.
Edited, Dec 7th 2010 10:13am by Olorinus