Player-made gear used to be a staple for leveling players, and many pieces were coveted even into the raiding game. Crafted blues and purples made all the difference in whether you could mow through the content or simply plink away. Today's players sail through the levels and clear raid content faster than they can gather the mats while a piece is still relevant. And leveling a production profession to make your own gear? To keep your skills on par with your level, you'll need to keep a hawkish eye on your adventuring XP, devoting regular sessions to pulling your crafting skills up to the bar. You can probably find crafted gear for sale in the auction house if you play on a realm with a robust economy, but the easiest path to power these days is simply to play a couple of hours and ding up another level.
Crafting my own gear and being able to make a coveted piece for a friend or guildie used to be a highlight of the game for me, but my most recent characters have simply never given crafted gear a second thought. Has player-made gear become irrelevant in today's game? Would you prefer more of an emphasis on crafted gear, or are you just as happy to see it fade?