The raw stats on HQ crafted gear are indeed inferior- but they come with materia slots ingrained,
For tanks and armor, the extra points of defense are probably better than the few extra stats -- math and time will tell.
For DPS and weapons, the extra base damage is WAY too high on dungeon gear for HQ to catch up, no matter the materias.
For healer and armor, you can probably get a few more extra HP worth of cures, at the cost of DEF and Vit.
I don't really see why they make crafted gear be a side-grade or downgrade, depending on class/role, instead of being competitive.
Don't forget that the stats cap on gear is essentially already reached as soon as you HQ something. So got Mind+14 on that HQ Bliaud? Don't bother slotting +Mind for stronger heals, it won't work (It will eat the materia, and give you squat for your effort). You can always slot +spell speed, determination, vitality, and so on, depending if the gear has those stats natively or not.
I've heard reports that 50 crafters have some super-hard recipes in P4 too)
Aye, the control and craftsmanship required to even be able to craft NQ gear (that is a farshot below AF, which is apparently solo quested in ARR) is insane. 255 and 318, depending on the gear you're making. My 50 crafter has around.. 120 of those at the moment.
So maybe making HQ of those will compete with AF1. Then you'll get AF2 or dungeon gear from raids and toss all that effort away? Sounds like it's a pretty ****** thing to do to the crafters to me.
But that won't stop me from crafting -- I actually love going out to mine/harvest and then combine all those and try to HQ stuff. I might just not find many people wanting to wear/but my gear.